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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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This is one of two Jaguars held captive in the resort which since the business has been struggling have suffered the unimaginable pain of being slowly starved to death.

On Friday we learned that the jaguars being held captive in Belize Lodge and Excursions, Boden Creek Ecological Preserve, an 11,000 acre property which lies adjacent to Indian Creek village in Toledo, were starving to death and that one had already died. The property which is a high end, five star, ecotourism resort has had captive animals on show to their guests for many years. However the resort seems to have fallen on hard times, they have not been paying their staff and it has been discovered that the animals they have been keeping captive have not been fed or watered for a long time either.

It is an incredibly painful way to die, to be starved, and that is what these jaguars have been suffering, along with other animals such as spider monkeys and howler monkeys which are also understood to have been starved to death or abandoned and released into the jungle with little chance of fending for themselves after being kept in captivity for so long. Under the laws of Belize it is lawful to enter property without permission when an animal is suffering cruelty, in light of this Ya'axche's head ranger went to assess the condition of the animals and found one of the jaguars lying emaciated with a tether around its neck, the other jaguar, a black one, is still surviving but severely undernourished. Forest Department have been notfied and have stated that they will come to collect the surviving animal on Tuesday.

By: Ya'axch� Conservation Trust

From a friend....

I've been writing about those poor jaguars and about the lodge for years. As far as I know, nobody took action or paid much attention. I pulled this outfit from the guidebooks I do after seeing their caged jaguars.

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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was asked to pull this til the remaining jaguar is rescued.....

Joined: Oct 2003
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But then repost with Ken Karas name and all the other info I'll get you. He has an uncanny ability to raise funds and can prepetrate this again in another country. He didn't pay his bills when he wasn't on hard times. He is a sociopath and has lied, cheated and stolen since the day he set foot in Belize. He needs to made made an environmental pariah so where he goes, people know.

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Marty Offline OP
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ok will do. have been saving information for when this goes public....

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Severely malnourished black jaguar to be rescued from Ballum Na Lodge

On Saturday the 14th of July the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWCN) was alerted to a black jaguar in distress at Ballum Na Lodge in the Punta Gorda area. Wil Maheia, a BWCN member and well known Belizean conservationist, had been able to gain access to the jaguar, named Bosch, and he attempted to provide him with food. During this time he was able to take a photograph of the animal and the condition of the jaguar in the photograph made it clear to the BWCN that urgent action was required. There were also suspicions that other animals may be on the property or may have recently died. Working closely with the Belize Forest Department, it was decided that due to the location of the animal, the most urgent issue was to have the jaguar and any other animals on the property assessed and, if necessary, provided with food and fresh water.

Ian Morton, a BWCN volunteer, in the Punta Gorda area was able to view Bosch on the morning of Sunday, the 15th of July. He discovered that only one jaguar, Bosch, was on the property. He took further reports that another jaguar had recently died but could get little information about any other animals. During this time, he was able to take photographs to document the condition of the jaguar as well as ensure that food and fresh water was available. He immediately reported back to the BWCN with his observations and photographs. During this time, efforts were underway to develop a rescue strategy for Bosch with BWCN volunteers and the Belize Forest Department. Dr. Isabelle Paquet Durand, wildlife specialist from the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic in Cayo, was able to provide Mr. Morton with clear advice on providing a specially prepared feed, containing vitamin supplements, to assist Bosch and prevent further deterioration in his condition until she would be able to assess him personally. Mr. Morton visited Box again on Monday the 15th of July to make sure he received the diet recommended by Dr. Paquet Durand.

At this time it was also brought to the attention of the BWCN that another conservation group. Ya' axche Conservation Trust had observed and photographed a dead jaguar at the same site on Friday the 13th of January, confirming previous reports of a jaguar death. On Tuesday the 17th of July, Belize Forest Department Wildlife Officers, accompanied by Dr. Paquet Durand left Cayo at 4am to make their way to Ballum Na Lodge in Punta Gorda, where a full veterinary assessment was made. While the BWCN had every hope Bosch could have been removed from his current situation today, his condition is too poor to attempt to move him at this time. Arrangements have been made to ensure he will receive the care that he needs this week and he will be closely monitored in the hope that he will be fit for travel by Friday. The BWCN very much appreciate the support and well wishes from the community for Bosch's quick recovery and want to assure the public that everything possible is being done to have a positive outcome. The BWCN will, of course, provide updates on Bosch's progress.

BWCN has been working on creating a nationwide network of volunteers called the Wildlife Emergency Response Team (WERT). Although WERT is not fully operational, BWCN is proud that it could already call on volunteers to spring into action to deal with such an urgent and serious wildlife issue. BWCN has also been collaborating closely with the Belize Forest Department to update wildlife laws and develop guidelines to prevent cases like this happening in future. If you would like more information on how to become a WERT volunteer or how you can assist wildlife in Belize, please contact BWCN at [email protected]. If you have a wildlife emergency or would like to report a wild animal in distress, please contact the Belize Forest Department on 802 1524.

Press Release - Belize Wildlife Conservation Network - 17 July 2012

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Marty Offline OP
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From Lan Sluder of

What I can't understand is why nobody has done anything about the jaguars before. Surely everybody in official positions or in tourism in Toledo knew about the jaguars.

I met Ken Karas in late 2008 (think it was December), and he personally showed me the jaguars, which at that time were kept in a cage. My daughter was with me and was very upset, as I was, by the conditions in which these beautiful animals were kept. The cage was small, with a concrete floor and steel bars, nothing like the conditions for jaguars at the Belize Zoo.

I wrote about it then (including mentioning it on this listserve) and since and have advised numerous people to avoid the BLE lodges in Toledo.

I later pulled Belize Lodge & Expeditions from Fodor's Belize and from other guides I've done. I couldn't recommend a place like that, even though the BLE lodges were very nice.

The whole Belize Lodge & Expedition operation in my opinion has been weird from the beginning. The managers I met were not like most other tourism operators in Belize -- they were secretive and unfriendly.

I understand that a prominent Belizean company pulled out of its original deal with BLE several years ago, losing a large amount of money.


This is what I wrote in "Rambles Around Belize 2008" after visiting Belize Lodge & Excursions and meeting Ken Karas in January 2008. I posted this on my website (, on a couple of Belize forums (and also here on this listserve, I believe). I also published this as a Kindle booklet on

By the way, it is my understanding that Ken Karas is NOT the owner (as stated on one of Brian's links) but is a "representative" of the owners ... not been able to confirm that either way, however.
--Lan Sluder

In late January, I also stopped at Indian Creek Lodge and met Ken Karas, who runs this and the other Belize Lodge and Excursions' three lodges in Toledo. That's another story, but Mr. Karas did show me Balaam Na, which means "House of the Jaguar" in K'etchi Maya. It is about a 10-minute drive from Indian Creek. Balaam Na has attractive, upscale suites in a lodge that is built over a fenced enclosure where, I was told, two jaguars would be placed. The idea is that guests can look down from their suites or the raised walkway and see the jaguars. When I was there construction was still going on in at least one of the suites. Supposedly, according to the web site, this place has been open for a while, but it obviously wasn't open when I visited.
When we finished the Balaam Na tour Ken Karas asked if my daughter and I wanted to see the two jaguars. We said yes. The jaguars, beautiful young males, one black and one spotted, are being kept in a small cage at Indian Creek Lodge. So far as I can see, they have no place to exercise, no way to be out in the open. Now, I understand the idea is that at some point they will be put in the fenced enclosure at Balaam Na. When I don't know. But even to be kept in such a cage for a few weeks or few months -- I have no idea how long they've been in there, but it hasn't been just a few days -- is disturbing.

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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From a good friend in Belize:
(For the not informed: Yeye (Mandarin Chinese) = granddad)

Good morning Yeye

We are dealing with a horrible situation in Belize right now.
A so called 'eco' resort in southern Belize Indian Creek area has
caged & starved jaguars abandoned to die!
Forestry is there right now trying to save what they can.
Resort is huge, 13,000 acres, Belize Lodge and Excursion, they also
own Moho Caye Resort, which is in a marine reserve.
They have the nerve to call one lodge Baluum Na, which means House of
the Jaguar.
check out their fancy website--they own alot & rich as hell.
I spent most of yesterday calling Forestry, the BZ Tourist Board, the
conservation societies around Belize.
there is no charge for a permit for keeping a jaguar!
it should be $50,000 at least, with training, license, regular checks,
all that stuff.
Again--foreign owners making a huge mess in Belize & giving Belize bad press.
Internet is pretty fast, and with all the social media & blogs etc,
this story is public.
very public.
personally, I hope the jaguars can recover, the owners get kicked out
of Belize or JAILED here at Hattieville, their land confiscated, and
then we other hotel owners get to flog them in public. Even better,
let me just kick them until I cannot kick anymore.
They did not even release them into the wild, they abandoned them in
a slow horrible painful death--for what? tourist amusement? private
The whole time we were a few miles away at Cacaofest, these animals
were dying of thirst and hunger.
and not only jaguars but monkeys, parrots, etc--starved to death already.
shame shame shame this went unmonitored by the BTB--they check every
single hotel for fire extinguishers and licenses--you would think they
could send the Forestry Dept to check up on the wild creatures that
are shown on their damn website!
BTB won't even release the owners names!

not happy with this bs!

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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The L street address in Washington for this outfit in one of the links Brian put up is smack in the middle of Washington's legal zone -- where all the big and small law firms operate. We call it "K Street" but lower L street is part of that zone. The picture of that address in Google map confirms to me that it's an office building in the middle of the Washington law firm zone.

I imagine that's just a drop box address.

No legal company in the US have a name starting with Belize Lodge....
FOREST CARBON OFFSETS L.L.C does exist the person listed on the website is the owner along with some G.M.

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Video from 2011: Jaguar From Our Bedroom at Ballum Na Belize Lodge & Excursions

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Marty Offline OP
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This was posted on Patrick Jones' facebook page ...


I am Kenneth Karas, Managing Director of Belize Lodge & Excursions (BLE) and I would like to respond to the situation regarding the jaguars that you are reporting on.

Belize Lodge & Excursions has cared for the jaguars for the past 10 years. BLE acquired them after a completed breeding program carried out by a US Zoo and Park Xcaret and were given approval from the Forestry Department to provide a home for them on the property at Indian Creek. Their future was uncertain and we were able to rescue them from being placed in a private zoo in Mexico. A state of the art outdoor and indoor facility was designed and built with approval from the Forestry Department and the animals have lived there in good health for the past 10 years and the Department on a yearly bases would visit and inspect the condition of the animals and there were never any issues.

At the end of May of this year BLE closed for the season as we do each year leaving staff on duty to care for the animals. The manager in charge was provided with a weekly budget for feeding the animals and as far as I knew they were being well taken care of as they always have been. After closing for the season I traveled to the US, as I do every year, on weekly basis I would receive reports from the manager on the animals as well as on the property and at no time was I told that the animal was not being fed or that there were any health issues, in fact I was told everything was fine. I only learned of the condition of the animals this past Saturday when one of the Company's former employees contacted me and told me of the situation. What I now understand has happened is that the person in charge misused the funds provided to him for the care and feeding of the animals.

These animals are well known in the south and conservation organizations such as TIDE and YCT were aware of the facility and its function and have visited many times and never had any issues with how the animals were being treated and cared for. Our guests were able to see the animal in a natural forest setting and local school groups visited for educational tours on a regular bases, providing an opportunity for people to see these animals where otherwise they would rarely be seen.

I deeply regret what has happened and we are currently working with the Forestry Department and a vet to stabilize the animal and move it to the Belize Zoo.

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