Belize has a reputation for caring and guarding over our remaining jaguar populations. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is known internationally as a refuge for the mighty Jaguar. The Central Belize Corridor, a swath of land which connects the forests of our northern regions, to those forests further south, is credited for providing a “jungle highway” for roaming jaguars.
However, there is a bleak side to the jaguar world in our country. Too often, a Jaguar will be killed, and have its canine teeth extracted. Why? There are people in Belize who will turn the teeth into a piece of jewelry. An endangered animal dies, and a few dollars exchanges hands.
Recently, a jaguar cub, less than three months old, was brought to the Zoo. Where’s Mom? Most likely she was killed. Why? Very likely for the sad reason outlined above. This ugly situation, unfortunately, happens more often than just a casual “now and again”.
Come on, Belize! It's time to walk the walk! If we are a nation promoting “Jaguars Forever”, then we must gear our profile and our actions to fully support our stand. The cub pictured here is newly-acquired “Hero”. The Belize Zoo will see that “Hero” stands as a symbol to all about this unfortunate and cruel AND needless activity. People who come to The Belize Zoo wearing a Jaguar canine necklace are NOT allowed entry. The Zoo has developed and distributed posters t spread awareness about the problem countrywide. However, what Belize needs is stronger efforts and more voices aimed at seeing that this illegal activity ceases completely. If Belize is to be taken seriously in its stewardship profile over the greatest cat in the Americas, then a change MUST happen.
Tune in to Open Your Eyes on Great Belize Television tomorrow morning at 7:30am to learn more and learn how YOU can help!!
The Belize Zoo