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“Hoodwink”, our beautiful  Spectacled Owl,  will be getting a new and improved home in the near future.  Fortunately for all of us here at The Belize Zoo, the exceptional people at the British High Commission, have indicated that they would enjoy assisting with this much-needed renovation.

“Hoodwink the Owl” is a popular star on our night tours.   He readily vocalizes and flies to be close to his admirers.    But this gorgeous and very valuable education bird really needs more space.   “Hoodwink” likes to fly, and our goal is to have his “flight dreams” come true.


“Hoodwink” was born in captivity in a zoo in Texas and sent to The Belize Zoo years ago…He was a baby owl, hand-raised and given a great deal  of attention.   The drama of the story unfolds….when Hurricane Richard plundered The Belize Zoo in October 2010, “Hoodwink’s” enclosure was destroyed.   And what happened to the marvelous and much-loved Spectacled Owl?   He flew off and was gone!   And all of us thought, with great sadness, our “Hoodwink” was gone forever.

As everyone knows, we rebuilt the zoo.   And none of us spoke about “Hoodwink”.  How could he have survived the wild?  Born in captivity, he was always hand-fed, and never had to hunt for food.  “Hoodwink” was released by Hurricane Richard in a pine savanna habitat.  This is not the type of habitat where a Spectacled Owl would be found.  In addition, much of the terrain was so badly damaged.  It was just bleakly accepted  by us all that “Hoodwink” was no longer around.

Ready?  Approximately one year after our “Hoodwink” departed, he re-appeared in the zoo!   We set a trap, very quickly.  “Hoodwink”  flew in minus any coaxing, as if to say, “what a relief to be back!”  And how glorious it was to have him back!

His new home will be quite fitting for a bird so special and so unique.   The assistance projected for the renovation of “Hoodwink’s” home is a wonderful gesture.  It is coming from those who appreciate the role our special owl plays in the zoo’s work to promote wildlife education.   “Owl’s that?” for happy news?!

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