Feeding native wildlife: Please, do not take the wild out of wildlife
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Saturday December 13, 2014

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About 5 yrs ago, I moved as a single woman to San Pedro from NYC. I traded bonds for Lehman Bros. Holy crap, what a change. Now I just finished a 3+ yr stint as manager of a popular (sometimes gritty) bar. As you can imagine, I've met the good, great, bad and the ugly. I’ve got lots to say and so…here's my daily blog. I want to show all sides of island life; give you the SanPedroScoop. The island is one of the most beautiful places on earth but every day I see something hard to Belize.
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Feeding native wildlife: Please, do not take the "wild" out of wildlife


There are serious wildlife concerns with this. Have been for a long time. Feeding wildlife causes issues for people and wildlife. Please, if you are visiting Belize, do not feed the wildlife. It often results in the wildlife eventually having to live a life in captivity because once they lose their natural fear of humans, they do become dangerous.

The tour guide that we had was telling us about that. He said that bananas are the only thing you can feed the monkey. He told us there was a male and a female but the female passed away recently because people were feeding her any snacks they had with them and not just the bananas that the tour guides brought with. So sad... they are such cool animals!

That isn't correct. This animal will be rescued soon. It is against the law to feed wildlife in Belize.

This spider monkey has been part of a long term problem of people being encouraged to feed monkeys in Belize, not just on the Lamanai tour, but also at the Community Baboon Sanctuary. An adult spider monkey is dangerous, and one that comes on to a boat expecting food is going to bite someone at some point when he doesn't find it. Encouraging howler monkeys to come down to feed has led to them becoming accustomed to people - we had a female and her offspring brought into the Primate Rehabilitation Centre after she came down to the ground in the middle of Bermudian Landing as a result. She was badly attacked by dogs. Changing any wild animals behaviour by feeding can cause problems...there's a reason why it is illegal.

Another person: When I went to Lamanai our guide refused to get close enough to interact with them, for all the reasons pointed out above. He also told us that a few days earlier, one of the other tour operators had a young girl get bitten at that very spot, but their company stays far enough back to see them but not interact.

Please, do not take the "wild' out of wildlife.

Editorial comment...

colette has educated me in a lot of these ways. i thank her for that. Fifteen years ago i would pet anything. Then I about got my face chewed off by a spider monkey (in a huge multi-room cage at spanish's place on ambergris. it didn't want to let me go. I was its new fun toy. took hours and much patience to get out without being chewed. I saw the dirty nasty angry teeth straight up in my face several times when i tried to remove his four arms and tail from around my body. I was fully captured. had to switch to monkey time. bitten slightly in a few places on my head and face. Big hugs from all, especially my wife, when i finally got out. monkey changed its weight slightly away from me and i bolted fast. bareeeeeeely got out as it ran after me.) Don't fuck with monkeys. you will pay the price.

Marty Casado

Photograph by Amanda Stafford

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