You Gotta Belize, it is Wonderful! By Primate Supervisor, Dena Strange

Did my title catch your attention? Now that my mosquito, spider, army ant and a couple of unidentified bites are healing up, I thought I should tell everyone about my trip to Belize that was sponsored by the Houston Zoo’s Staff Conservation Fund (donations from Houston Zoo staff  designated for Houston Zoo staff conservation efforts) .

I went down to visit Wildtracks , originally a Manatee rescue/ rehabilitation and release center in Belize. They added the endangered Yucatan Black Howler Monkey in 2010 to their wildlife rehabilitation program and have a successful release program in the nearby Fireburn Forest Reserve. Wildtracks is run by Paul and Zoe Walker and assisted by a dozen or so wonderful volunteers (how to volunteer at Wildtracks link) from all over the globe. Wildtracks is located 2 miles west of the tiny village of Sarteneja in northern Belize (accessed by either 40 miles of dirt road or a 90 minute water taxi…guess which one I chose!).  

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The primate department at the Houston Zoo has been supporting Yucatan Black Howler Monkey conservation in Belize for many years (read previous blogs here) and Wildtracks since 2010. Last October the primate department raised almost $4000 during the annual Zoo Boo weekends by selling items (some of it hand-made by staff) and raising awareness of howler monkeys and Wildtracks by creating “ Zoe the Zoo Keeper’s Adventure” .  Zoe the Zoo Keeper is a character primate staff created to help tell the story of wildlife conservation in Belize.  The money raised in October was used to build more caging to house confiscated howler monkeys and to buy fencing for the new pre-release area (an area that prepares them for the wild again) for howlers.

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The main purpose of this trip was to discuss opportunities for conservation collaboration with Wildtracks and the Belizean Forestry Department and explore how the Houston Zoo’s staff might enhance Wildtrack’s progress with rehabilitating and releasing howlers back into the wild. Owning wildlife is illegal in Belize and now that Wildtracks has the facility to accept more howler monkeys, the Belize Forestry Department has stepped up confiscations. However, most Belizeans are completely unaware that owning wildlife including howler monkeys is illegal. After meeting with Rasheda Garcia (Forestry Dept manager) and Paul Walker, we all agreed that the next step is focusing on educating Belizeans. We brainstormed several ideas and have come up with a plan that we hope to fulfill in the coming year!

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You can learn more and help support Wildtracks by visiting their website (here) and/or visiting our table during Zoo Boo in October 2013. Mark your calendars and look out for Zoe the Zookeeper!

 



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We're closed today, January 16. Stay warm and dry, Houston! ... See MoreSee Less

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Keep the animals warm!

Why? What's goin on!?

Stay warm as you take care of our lovely zoo and it’s residents❤️

Misty Flanigan no zoo for Connor

Thank you to all the wonderful staff that went in to take care of their critter babies! Be safe!

Stay warm sweet animals 🦁🐯🐒🦆🐅🐆🦓🦏🐘🦍🦒

Too cold! Good idea.

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We are open on this beautiful Monday! Get out and enjoy the weather before it gets extra chilly this week.

 

Comment on Facebook

Giraffe feeding was awesome! Only wished we were given even more lettuce!

Had a great time today

We are here. 😀

Don't miss out before we turn off the lights! This is the last weekend for TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights. Bundle up, grab your friends and family and join us for Houston's favorite hoilday tradition.

We even have a special discount to end the season. For just $9 per person, you get to see all two million lights, Candy the Zoo Lights Zebra, and musical reflection pool! zoolights.houstonzoo.org/get-tickets/
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Dont miss out before we turn off the lights! This is the last weekend for TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights. Bundle up, grab your friends and family and join us for Houstons favorite hoilday tradition. 

We even have a special discount to end the season. For just $9 per person, you get to see all two million lights, Candy the Zoo Lights Zebra, and musical reflection pool! https://zoolights.houstonzoo.org/get-tickets/

 

Comment on Facebook

My daughter lost her FAVORITE stuffed animal last night. We were there after 8:30. Please contact me if found. She is very very sad

Dianne Ramboer Dunn and Wendy Martinez we're going tonight! Maybe I'll go live for you, grandma! : )

We visited today for daughters 3rd birthday, thank you we had a great day. It was a bit cold so we bundled up and enjoyed the zoo being so quiet, we got to feed giraffes twice! Would recommend!

How is it $9?

Cuanto esta la eñtrada y ban estar las luces mañana para ir com mi familia?

When is the last day to see the lights?

Lupe Mcmillon you should take Emma and Ethan

Aldo Castellanos Isabel Zamarripa-Hernandez Juan Francisco Hernandez $9 el boleto, que dicen?? Este es el último fin de semana

Busca quien nos lleve jajaja Socorro Garcia Ponce 🤣😂

Patricia Lozada tomorrow at 6pm meet us there? :0)

Debbie R Hernandez-Sanchez

Angel Rodriguez

Roxy AR

Valarie Ann Romero

Enrique Gonzalez last chance

Erica Villarreal 9$

Kayla Fitzpatrick

Macie Quick

Callie Wade

Hina Suleman

Griseldaa Chavezz

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