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Hats Off To A Great Recovery 


There were record-breaking floods in January of this year. Many times during aggressive weather wildlife feels the brunt of the climate action. This was the case with the zoo’s baby ocelot named Rhaburn. Rescued from a flooded area, he was discovered alone and in a severely weakened condition. He was brought to the zoo, where the “Emergency Care Flags” went up, and baby Rhaburn was immediately provided with a schedule of round-the-clock care.

A proper diet had to be provided, and carefully given to the baby ocelot.  His sleeping area was always kept warm with a heating pad and the little guy had a host of caregivers who were committed to seeing that he would live and thrive.   

Watching youngster Rhaburn now, it is hard to take the walk back in time when he was extremely weak and dehydrated and fighting for his own survival. Weeks of diligent care paid off for the little cub.  He grew stronger day by day and his appetite increased.  He was, indeed, a true survivor of a bleak beginning in life.

Many people followed his progress on the zoo’s Face Book page.  A description of his activities and advancements were shared with thousands of people.  So many of the animals who live at the Belize zoo share similar survival stories to Rhaburn’s happy ending.  We provide a “last resort” for Belizean wildlife which is, unfortunately, not able to be released back into the wild.  However, we are also proud to state that some of our rehabilitated wildlife has seen release back into the wild.  This includes a jabiru stork, roadside hawks, anteater, and iguanas, snakes and crocodiles.   If release cannot happen, the alternative occurs:  Superb care is given, much attention is provided each and everyday; and children of all ages (animals tend to bring out the “kid” in many), enjoy the opportunity to see and experience the wildlife of a special country called Belize.

Now, besides the thousands of schoolchildren who visit, those who are disabled can also take in the beauty of our well-cared for critters.  The accessible pathway is nearing completion.  Wild cats, magnificent birds, and don’t forget our fun coati troop, can be enjoyed by those who are fit and strong, and also, those with disabilities which hinder a “walk about” thru The Best Little Zoo in the World. 

An important message that is carried to the public via our ocelots:  At one time, it was legal to hunt these spotted cats for the fur coat industry.  It would take about 100 ocelots in order to make one fur coat.   Definitely, the supremely beautiful feline predator, the ocelot, deserves a future in the wild, and happily, this is more likely to happen with a wisely-changed status of protection.



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