The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center
The Belize Zoo was founded by Sharon Matola who originally came to Belize to work on a documentary film. As one learns when one gets on in life, planning is nice but not always in line with the divine destination of where you find yourself. As some may say, your planning can sometimes be God’s entertainment.
Sharon found herself with several animals that were used in the documentary and no longer in a position to be released back into the wild. She was left to “deal” with the animals.
So what do you do with “Large Cats” like Jaguars or large “Mountain Cows” called Tapir’s? Well, you start a zoo.
Sharon not only started The Belize Zoo, she turned it into one of the most famous Zoo’s in the world. What is very special about The Belize Zoo is that it is actually a large rescue center for animals that call the country of Belize their home. Because of this, you will not find animals from other regions of the world like polar bears at The Belize Zoo. What you will find are animals that are part of Belize and need a home and sometimes medical care to survive.
Answer: You use The Belize Zoo to educate and entertain locals and visitors from all over the world – charging a modest admission of course. Sharon and her team also have various other programs that provided an educational service to the local school children of Belize as well as others who want to visit from around the world to participate in internships etc. In addition to The Belize Zoo being a fun place to visit for entertainment, it also serves as a major Tropical Education Center.
The short answer to the above question is : Find funding anywhere you can because The Belize Zoo is a non-profit!
This brings us to the topic of how can you help? Sharon has an ADOPT AN ANIMAL program where you can choose a type of animal to adopt and pay a small fee. This fee is used to support the animal at the zoo. This is a great program for teaching children the importance of preserving the planet and being ecologically responsible – not to mention being able to say you have a Tapir or some other exotic animal in Belize Central America that is now apart of your family or school. How fun is that?
Click here : more information on the ADOPT AN ANIMAL program as well as other programs at The Belize Zoo.
Watch the video below to understand more about how The Belize Zoo was started. You will also hear about the latest updates to the zoo to make it more accessible for the physically challenged. Updating The Belize Zoo to accommodate wheel chairs has also opened The Belize Zoo up to other visitors, such as mothers with baby strollers, that may otherwise have not come.