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Nov 30, 2011

Animal lovers try to save a tapir injured by poachers

It is widely known that Guatemalan nationals are constantly invading Belize’s forests, logging and harvesting xate illegally. They have become increasingly brazen, moving further into Belizean territory and have attacked B.D.F. soldiers on numerous occasions. But the illegal activity in the forest goes beyond trees and xate, the Guatemalans are also hunting Belize’s national animal, the tapir. A group of xateros was recently confronted in the Chiquibul and it was discovered that they had killed an adult tapir and were taking her calf. The Guatemalans escaped, but left the calf behind in a bag. The Belize Zoo and Friends for Conservation launched a rescue mission, which was caught on camera by National Geographic filmmaker, Richard Foster. News Five caught up with Foster at the zoo today and he told us about the efforts to save the baby tapir.

Richard Foster, Natural History Filmmaker

“We went to the head station of the Friends for Conservation up there, Raphael Manzanero’s operation and they had the baby tapir there right at the station. Poor little thing, I mean the thing was only a few weeks old. The officer who actually found the tapir—found a bag with the tapir in it—was right there so I managed to talk to him and he told us a story of how he came upon a bunch of xateros up there, illegally up there, and they ran off and there was a little sack left there. They opened up the sack and there was a little face looking up and obviously the mother had been shot or butchered anyway and they were taking the baby tapir back to Guatemala for sale I’m sure. They gave it a meal and they put it in the truck and Tony Garel kept it between his legs in the truck on the way back. We got it back after dark and put it in a little kennel and gave it another dose of milk and it seemed to be fine.”

Delahnie Bain

Richard Foster

“So what happened next? Did it survive?”

Richard Foster

“Unfortunately, while it looked like it was gonna make it; they discovered that the animal had been wounded. It looked like it had been bitten by a cat or something. There were wounds in its scalp and it had septicemia and although they did everything they could for it, in fact when they found the wounds which weren’t immediately evident, they gave it antibiotics, put it in the truck and they were going to take it to a vet but unfortunately, it passed away before they could get it to the vet. It’s really; really sad because I was hoping it would survive and really be an emblem of what needs to be done here. I mean these people are just walking all over this country and exploiting it and its natural resources. I mean if Belizeans went over to Guatemala and did this, they wouldn’t come back. We’re much too soft on these guys. We’ve gotta do something and save our forest. They’re cutting our trees down, they’re settling in our villages across the border and they’re killing all the wildlife including the tapirs and scarlet macaws.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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5 Responses for “Animal lovers try to save a tapir injured by poachers”

  1. indy- attacking our national animal and resources says:

    An attack to our national animal is an attack to our nation and more offensive is that it was done i n our land. I really need our leaders to respond to this. Intruders coming in left and right and we haven’t heard anything from them.

  2. Storm says:

    Without a policy of enforcing and defending our border, Belize is becoming just a place for the Guats to loot and plunder.

    Sadly, Belize will lose everything within a generation if we don’t elect a GOB that will defend the nation. Most politicians are totally obsessed with what advantage they can get today, and don’t care what the Jewel will become in a few years.

    It’s a foreseeable demise.

  3. Alej says:

    this GOB is $#!%!@# on us. man! convict them. what happen with the fire arms that they find with xateros? only 2 years of jail??? if it was a belizean, you would find your in good rehabilitation for a quite time. whats good for 1 is good for all. have them serve the penalty for thier illegal activity.

  4. belizeanpride says:

    with the info gotten by the guy from National Geographic filmmaker it should be used in the case for our claims of guat invasions in our protected areas. Mr. Sedi should have taken the copy of the video to show at the meeting he had with the guats in the previous meeting. this is a real concern for all the nation and the Belizean gov. but the question is are they interested in dealing with the issue we are facing of invasion?

  5. hold up, hold up, says:

    send the GSU to practice there, they like to beat up old lady and children. why don’t they go to the border to fight the xateros for a while….

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