Semi-Open to the Public during COVID-19, The Belize Zoo Needs You

by Carolee Chanona
belize zoo jaguar

As a non-profit organization, The Belize Zoo (TBZ) depends upon ticket sales and donations to care for their animals and staff. While the zoo was closed to the public in late March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, employees continued to provide top-level care and enrichment to the animals. The Belize Zoo, located on mile 29 of the George Price Highway, is currently open by appointment only. As told by its Founding Director, Sharon Matola, the Belize is surviving on the generosity of donations from both merchants and individuals; that is to feed the 125 animals at its compound, and keep staff employed.  Besides being a rescue centre, TBZ is also a wildlife conservation and environmental education centre.

For 37 years, The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center (TBZ TEC) has been an educational and cultural icon in Belize.

“Rіght nоw, nоthіng іѕ рrеdісtаblе. Wе’rе nоt ѕurе whаt wе’rе gоіng tо [do]. І dоn’t thіnk wе’rе gоіng tо bе аblе tо kеер thе Zоо ореn. І thіnk thе grеаtеѕt асhіеvеmеnt thаt wе саn lооk аt іѕ hаrnеѕѕіng fооd fоr thе аnіmаlѕ tо kеер thеm оkау,” Маtоlа ѕаіd in an interview to Breaking Belize News.

Surviving COVID-19 with Private Donations from the Community 

Matola also nоtеd thаt thе zоо “еаѕіlу” hаѕ 125 аnіmаlѕ, whісh іnсludеѕ 25 јаguаrѕ thаt аrе hоuѕеd аѕ а раrt оf thе Zоо’ѕ јаguаr rеѕсuе рrоgrаmmе. Сurrеntlу, thе аnіmаlѕ аrе bеіng fеd рurеlу frоm dоnаtіоnѕ mаdе frоm gеnеrоuѕ іndіvіduаlѕ аnd buѕіnеѕѕеѕ ѕuсh аѕ mеаt ѕhорѕ, аnd ѕtrеѕѕеd thаt еvеrу lіttlе bіt hеlрѕ. Lord Michael Ashcroft has since pledged US$10,000 to the The Belize Zoo, via Twitter. If you’d like to contribute, find options below:

Direct Deposits to The Belize Zoo Account: 

  • Account Name: The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center.
  • Location: ScotiaBank, Albert Street Branch, Belize City – Transit # 91595 A/C # 0008915

Sponsoring Animal Feed via Reimer Feed Mill Accounts: 

  • Atlantic Bank: Denver Plett T/A Reimer Feed Mill – A/C # 100111790 
  • Belize Bank: A/C Reimers Feed Mill – A/C # 121217010120001 
  • Scotia Bank: A/C Reimers Feed Mill – A/C # 9137299 Transit #91595 
  • Heritage Bank: A/C Reimer Feed Mill – A/C # 33141014 Mobile ID reimersfeed 

This arrangement makes it easy to support the great work of this wonderful zoo.
Alternatively, TBZ is also accepting in-kind vegetable, meat, and fruit donations to meet their animal’s daily feeding needs. A full list may be found by contacting [email protected]. After all, The Belize Zoo is a special place. It began as a sanctuary for orphaned and abused animals and is now a leading voice for Belize’s extraordinary wildlife. Being semi-open to the public during the pandemic, The Belize Zoo needs your help now. 

The Belize Zoo’s Temporary Opening Hours

For now, The Belize Zoo is currently open on weekends, from 9 am – 4 pm. Additionally, The Belize Zoo is now Gold Standard certified.

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