Conservation Education Staff Travel to Belize – Day 2

After a very…noisy…first night at Wildtracks, we woke up to a beautiful Belizean morning.  We walked around the first floor of the sanctuary, found some breakfast in the kitchen, and enjoyed watching the sunrise from the back patio.

Sunrise over a peaceful lagoon; our first morning in Belize was beautiful

Since we arrived late the night before, we had not had the opportunity to meet all the volunteers that help Wildtracks do the amazing work they do.  And there were MANY volunteers to meet.  It seemed as if they were coming out of the woodwork.  We had a wonderful morning and met all the volunteers that had literally come from around the world to work at Wildtracks.  Their stories were many and varied, and they hailed from places that ranged from Canada to the UK to Australia.  It was so inspiring to see all these people come together to further conservation efforts and to be able to share a little bit of our story with them.

The main building on the Wildtracks grounds. This building housed the kitchen, the primate nursery, as well as some of the sleeping quarters for staff and visitors (including us).

Paul Walker was kind enough to give a tour of the facilities during the mid-morning hours.  We saw their enclosures for manatees that had been injured in boating accidents as well as their pre-release enclosures that opened up into the lagoon.  Manatees are able to slowly become accustomed to the life outside the safety of Wildtracks, which greatly enhances their chances of survival.

A manatee that had injuries from a boating accident currently undergoing rehabilitation.
A juvenile manatee in the lagoon pen
The lagoon pens that house the manatees during the soft-releases and acclamation periods

We also toured the primate facilities at Wildtracks.  Yucatan black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) and Geoffroy’s spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) both call Belize home.  Both species are under pressure from habitat loss and the pet trade.  Wildtracks works with the local officials as well as other conservation organizations to find these primates that are often housed in deplorable conditions, removed them from the pet trade, and work to provide the health care and nutrition they desperately need.  Once the primates return to good health, the work of rehabilitating them for life in the wild begins.  Paul and Zoe Walker, along with all the volunteers at the Wildtracks facility, have had an amazing survival rate post-release of both species of primates.  Research has been done that not only shows individual monkeys are surviving, but thriving to the point of raising families of their own in the forests of Belize.

Yucatan black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) undergoing rehabilitation
Geoffroy’s spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) undergoing rehabilitation.












The amazing lunch prepared by the amazing Wildtracks staff.


After our busy morning, we were able to share a delicious lunch with everyone at Wildtracks. During lunch, one of the past interns that completed research at Wildtracks gave a presentation over her work documenting post-release behaviors of individuals.  Her work showed just how successful Wildtracks has become at introducing these primates back into the wild and ensuring their survival.

We were able to spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the beautiful Wildtracks facility and ensuring everything was ready for our conservation conference that was starting the next day.  We also distributed the supplies that the Primate Team at HZI had sent down, along with T-shirts, printed material, and other goodies for everyone at Wildtracks.

A few of the volunteers at Wildtracks listening to the lunch time presentation

Along with Paul Walker, Zoe Walker, and Emma Farlow (Wildtracks Education and Outreach Coordinator), we left Wildtracks around 5:00 p.m. to start our journey to Belmopan, Belize.  It was roughly a 4 hour drive.  We arrived at Belmopan safely, checked in to the Hibiscus Hotel, and had dinner at the restaurant before turning in for the night.

Elizabeth Fries, Zoe Walker, Paul Walker, and DeAndra Ramsey leaving Wildtracks to go to Belmopan

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Sets up a surprise sloth encounter as a birthday present for Simone Biles. You might think his shirt is made out of cotton. Turns out, it's boyfriend material. ... See MoreSee Less


Sets up a surprise sloth encounter as a birthday present for Simone Biles. You might think his shirt is made out of cotton. Turns out, its boyfriend material.


Comment on Facebook

Can anyone do this?


Where is the sloth's exhibit located within the zoo?

I'm not sure who is the cutest- the sloth, Simone, her boyfriend or SMG!!!

Christopher Vavrecka 😍 this is what I want for my birthday

And that is Curly- the best sloth in the world!

Erica Gunter when we going to see the giraffes?? 😍

JasonSara Pipkin, I do have a membership next time you want to go to Houston. 😉

Chris Roach, since Chelsea loves sloths.

Jason! I want an encounter with Succotash for my upcoming bday!!

I signed my wife up back in December. She gets her sloth encounter in May and is very excited!!

Julia Tompkins you and Simone have met the same sloth

I like the way the sloth looks right at the camera and poses for the picture.

what a cute picture... that sloth sure did pose for it too 😂😂

Glynis Henry we could have seen her there if we went today. i'm sad now, i love her!

Maria Diaz you could do this for Jenn!

Why is the red panda sold out forever in advance 😩 or is it just not really an encounter

Coming to the zoo this Saturday. Can not wait!

Cameron Caylor Robyn Davis Deddens apparently we can pay to meet a sloth. If you two care about my happiness WHAT SO EVER, you’ll make this happen.

Melissa Nitsche - we held a sloth & baby in Cartegena while on vacation when we lived in Panama City, Panana

Ashley Janitz Montalvo I knew there was a sloth at the Houston zoo!

We met Curly shortly after he came to Houston Zoo! So glad he's still alive and well!

Amanda Leigh Ramirez Even better! Let's chat when you get back from all your time out of the office.

Janet Roper Gratkowski, Laci is in good company with her sloth-love! 😂😂

Sloth says, “Wow, I’m usually too slow to photo bomb. Cool!”

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Houston Zoo was live.
Houston Zoo

Spring break is over and it's back to the grind, so here's something relaxing. Enjoy watching our giraffes eat lettuce during our 11 a.m. giraffe feeding! ... See MoreSee Less



Comment on Facebook

Adam Thornton we should go do this!!

What a way to relax during lunch! The giraffes are so graceful!!

Just went two months ago planing to go again !

One of my favorite things to do when we go to the zoo!

Please tell me it won't be as crowded as Sunday if we come during the week

One of my favorite parts of the zoo.

How fun ... I love going to the zoo

My favorite....Giraffes!!😁😁



They so beautiful


Aww ❤️ ❤️

Dustin Badgerow

Karina Rocha


😍 excelente experiencia !! 😍💜

Dustin Badgerow

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