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Feb 27, 2023

Belize Zoo Plans its Fortieth Birthday But Needs Your Help

The Belize Zoo is turning forty in June of this year, and in keeping with the plans to celebrate that milestone, the facility is in need of your help. Director of the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Centre, Celso Poot, explained to News Five today that while the facility has seen an increase in visitors since last month, it will need funding to see all its plans materialize by June for the celebration.


Celso Poot

Celso Poot, Director, the Belize Zoo & Tropical Education Centre

“In January we saw an uptick in visitation, but if you walk around the zoo right now, you’ll see that there’s still a lot of recovery going on. I mean we got thousands of board feet of barriers that were replaced. We have several new habitats that were constructed. If we go by the Jaguar, Martin and Sylvia, you will see that their habitat was completely upgraded, rebuilt from scratch because those two habitats sustained severe damage. Martin’s habitat was completely destroyed by the big tree that fell on it during the hurricane. Just a lot of work has gone on in terms of maintenance over the last two months since we reopened. So before the pandemic, we had fifty eight employees. We’re back up to forty-four and every week as we are seeing that uptick in visitors, then the workload increases and so we’re hiring. Our education department, for example, is currently hiring an education officer. We are just coming back to some sort and normalcy now. All the resources we get from visitation and sales in the gift shop at the zoo go right back into our conservation work. We have several more habitats that we want to redo. We have, for example, Neo, the river otter, we need to build him a new, spacious home. We are constructing Rose, the crocodile’s habitat, so her habitat should be completed end of this week. It will be something new for visitors to see. Most people who visited the zoo regularly know that Rose was a crocodile that we had from hatchling, and Sharon (Matola, deceased) had raised Rose. She’s now over six feet long and people still ask for Rose. Rose is in the back. And so we were able to secure funding to build her a new home where she’ll be permanently present in the public domain.”

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