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May 21, 2015

Did Guatemalan Poachers Kill Belize’s National Animal?

And from milpas to wild animals- the pressures inside the Chiquibul are numerous. And the FCD has been working tirelessly to put a stop or to mitigate in some cases. And as Manzanero says, poaching is one of the issues that is very difficult to stop and in recent months there has been an increase. Scarlet Macaws are at the top of the chain in the illegal pet trade and they fetch big prices across the border, so it’s no wonder that they are targets inside the Chiquibul for years. And recently, a Tapir was found shot dead. Yes, the national animal of Belize was killed inside the Chiquibul. Was it killed by Guatemalan poachers?


Raphael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD

Rafael Manzanero

“What we have seen over the last few months’ xaté activity is much less than before. Logging we have not seen a lot of prominent set of activities when it comes to illegal logging. So the poaching activities are still occurring on this particular time of the year the pet trade for scarlet macaws is high, It’s one of those things that throughout the year it is marked certain type of activities. Just last week our rangers were extremely busy trying to detain and arrest the poachers for scarlet macaws. We are extremely close to capturing the guys for the very first time in the work try to cease the poachers but they were still able to elude us and they were able to escape. But they are particulars period of time when you will find pet trade and poaching. We just put on our Facebook for yesterday an adult of a tapir that was shot dead in the area. So now the question is would people actually feed off of such an animal? Of course not, but it basically means that they are people who have firearms in the zone and who would precisely be going after some of these mammals or animals. Poaching will always be there as long as there is human foot printing along the zone. We have not seen any Belizean poachers in the area, we can basically be able to assume because we did not see it either. But from all the shells and stuff like that pretty much it is the human foot print which is occurring illegally there in the zone.”

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