Far more than a holding pen for visitors to gawk at strange and exotic animals, the Belize Zoo and Education Center is more than 29 acres of natural setting where all of the residents are considered members of the family by the zookeepers. Designed with a focus for rescuing abandoned, mistreated and orphaned animals, the Belize Zoo gives wildlife a second chance at life, with animal residents including Baird's tapirs (the national animal of Belize), the keel-billed toucan (the national bird of Belize), spider monkeys, crocodiles, snakes, macaws, and manatees.
One of the most popular residents is a black jaguar jaguar named Lucky Boy. Rescued from a near death from malnutrition, he is now considered one of the guardians of the zoo. Lucky Boy is the most photographed resident of the zoo. Other featured residents include Panama (a harpy eagle), Balboa (a boa constrictor) and Fuego (a tapir).
The Belize Zoo was founded in 1983 in order to rescue mistreated and abandoned animals that had been used in documentary films. As the zoo transitioned to a permanent facility, the organizers realized that many local people were unfamiliar with the native animals that inhabited Belize. This prompted the zoo to transform from a holding facility to an outreach center with a strong focus on education. Operated and owned by a non-profit trust, the Belize Zoo and Education Center's mission is to introduce visitors to the animals of Belize and promote awareness about the eco-systems in the country.
Every year, more than 68,000 visitors explore the zoo, learning about the more than 145 different animal species currently in residence. All animals in the zoo are native animals of Belize. The Belize Zoo also has an established program of rehabilitating rescued animals in order to re-release them back into the wild.
The Belize Zoo is just off the George Price Highway (also known as the Western Highway) approximately 29 miles west of Belize City. Open 8:30 am to 5:00 pm seven days a week (except for holidays), this unique educational center has been completely renovated and is now wheelchair accessible.
Questions about the Belize Zoo? Send us an email or call 239 494 3281. We will love to help you plan a tour of the Zoo.