In Belize, sometimes the Zoo comes to you
In Belize you don’t need to go hunting for wildlife – sooner or later it will come to you.
Case in point is earlier this month, May 23 to be exact, when we had both a crocodile and jaguar go roaming – all in one day.
In Belize City, a crocodile was causing mischief when it left a storm drain to visit the neighbourhood.
The same day, a jaguar decided to take a walk – much to the concern of the authorities.
The croc was quickly captured by some brave city residents who appeared unfazed by the creature, which was lucky enough to be carted away to a crocodile sanctuary rather than to a local kitchen – which has happened in the past.
According to local resident Derek “Mighty” McKoy, “It came out the drain, it came from the left side across the street and it went into the smaller ditch but he couldn’t under the bridge so that is where he got stuck. We pulled him back way and threw a rope around it and pulled it up.”
Sometime after that the Belize Wildlife Conservation Emergency Response Team arrived on the scene to collect the croc. The team’s Will Moreno said, “Well the crocodile is going to go to ACES which is a Crocodile sanctuary – it’s a special place where they take care of crocodiles. Right now he needs some rehabilitation – he was actually bashing himself against the concrete there so it’s very important that they make sure that he’s okay. He’s definitely very exhausted and very agitated from all the people that were around it. That’s the reason why it ended up bashing himself up against the concrete various times.”
So it was all’s well that ends well for the confused croc.
As for the runaway jaguar, it was a registered, domesticated cat that got away from its owners in southern Belize.
It has since been seen foraging for food in the area where it had lived. Forestry officials said that because it has been domesticated, the jaguar probably won’t hunt and is expected to come back to its home area when it gets hungry.
The problem with domesticated jaguars is that they have no fear of humans. Their wild cousins avoid contact, which is best for all parties involved, so residents have been warned to avoid the big feline.
Hopefully it will be trapped safe and sound and returned to the anxious owners.
Just another day in the natural paradise of Belize…