Here is a link to a letter written about Viper Rum by Sharon Matola of the Belize Zoo http://www.belizezoo.org/director/26.htm
and this is what Sharon Matola, founder of Belize Zoo, said about Maruba on another forum.
Posted by Sharon Matola (Member # 17109) on 02-15-2007, 11:29 AM:
It is unfortunate that the Maruba Lodge continues to exploit Belizean wildlife for the sole purpose of their own financial gain.
Maruba openly admits and boasts (http.//www.mojohd.com/shows/threesheets/photos/) that they place live snakes and scorpions into bottles of rum.
These animals die and become "wildlife curios" aimed to be sold to the guests at the Maruba "eco lodge".
This practice violates the Wildlife Protection Act of 1981 which clearly states that it is "illegal to collect and sell species of wildlife"
Furthermore, Maruba employees are known to pay nearby villagers for the collecting of snakes - any species of snake, for their illegal tourist-targeted rum enterprise.
The ecological role which snakes and Maruba's other "viper rum victims", scorpions, play in the Belizean environment matters zero to Maruba Lodge.
What does matter to Maruba is that they undertake a perverse activityand create their own illegal tourist side-show, purely to try and attract some extra tourist dollars.
This issue has been brought to the attention of officials at the Forest Department within the Ministry of Natural Resources. To their credit, Wildlife Officers acted in proper manner and brought the actions of Maruba Lodge to appropriate legal reprimand.
When The Belize Zoo inquired as to what the final outcome was, it was indicated that a high-ranking government official dismissed the charges against the Maruba Lodge. Justice prevailing? Hardly. Political favour?
The Maruba Lodge cointinues to disregard the laws of Belize. They show no respect for the efforts being made by many here, aimed at conserving, not degrading this nation's natural resources.
BE PROACTIVE ABOUT THIS ISSUE
1. Urge anyone you know who is considering a visit to Belize to AVOID The Maruba Lodge due to their continued irresponsible behaviour.
2. Express your concern and opposition to the selling of "Viper Rum" directly to Maruba Lodge: [email protected]
There should be a concerted and unified effort in Belize to preserve this country's unique natural resources - a HUGE Thumbs down to The Maruba Lodge for their low class performance.