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Mammals of Belize

Mammals are a group of animals with backbones, bodies covered by hair, nurse their young with milk, and have a unique jaw articulation. Mammals are also the group of animals to which humans belong.

Belize has approximately 145 mammal species living within its boundaries. Mammals exist within all the different habitats of Belize, from the manatee and dolphins of the coastal zone, to the 5 different species of wildcat which live deep within the rainforests of the Maya Mountains.

Jaguar (Pantera onca)  Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii)

The rainforest mammals of Belize tend to be very secretive and mostly nocturnal. This makes them extremely difficult to see. They usually see, hear, smell, or feel you long before you them. Rainforest mammals do not stand out in the open for easy viewing, but instead climb through the canopy or scurry over the forest floor well ahead of you. That is one reason the Belize Zoo is such a special place. Here you can see many of the rainforest species of Belize easily.

A visit to the zoo is the best way to get an introduction to the animals of Belize, and to understand why it is important to protect the habitats that sustain them. We hope this website will be the next best thing to visiting us in person.

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