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Belize Zoo Soft Re-opening May 23rd & 24th #542433
05/19/20 04:30 AM
05/19/20 04:30 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,905
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
The Belize Zoo will be having a soft re-opening to the public on Saturday and Sunday May 23rd & 24th only- info below!

- Opening hours will be from 9am to 4pm, with last admission at 3:15pm.

- Admission for this weekend will be $7BZ for adults and $2BZ for children (ages 3-12)

- The Harpy Café will be open for takeaway food orders, and limited open-air dining by reservation (contact 625-3604).

- All visitors must wear a mask and practice physical distancing of 6 feet at all times.

- To mark this special occasion, each visiting family will receive a complimentary copy of the Zoo's latest book written by Founding Director, Sharon Matola entitled "Welcome to the Best Little Zoo in the World!"

We look forward to seeing you at the Zoo once more!

[Linked Image]

Re: Belize Zoo Soft Re-opening May 23rd & 24th [Re: Marty] #542467
05/20/20 04:29 AM
05/20/20 04:29 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,905
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

The Big Cats Coming Back

Last night you heard the Attorney General talk about the re-opening of Archaeological sites, and tourism attractions such as Shark Ray Alley.

And, one other major attraction that is reopening is the Belize Zoo. The 37 year old facility has planned a soft-reopening even for this coming weekend of Saturday, May 23rd, and Sunday, May 24th.

They're hoping that the regular flow of traffic into the Zoo will gradually increase to those pre-COVID-19 numbers.

Our news team visited the Zoo this afternoon, and we spoke with one of the senior zoo-keepers about this weekend's soft launch. She told us that persons who want to visit will have to observe the strict social distancing protocols which the government continues to mandate:

Roxanna Lemus - Animal Record Keeper, Belize Zoo
"We've been planning this as a management group for the past weeks. Since the Zoo has been closed, we've had minimal staff, and only zookeepers have been here. So, we've had other staff members who volunteered to come into the zoo to clean. There has been no one doing the maintenance work, so we had other people coming in to rake and tidy up. We've been planning on how to mark our pathways, and how we're gonna keep everyone with that 6-feet distance."

"Everyone will be having their masks on. So, we'll have keepers along with other zoo personnel also patrolling the zoo, making sure that this is being maintained so that everyone is abiding by the law."

"We'll also have our cafeteria opened. So, we're gonna have everything spaced out since it's outdoors. So, we are allowed to sell food. Everyone will need to order the food also before coming in and getting their food."

"How challenging has it been for you guys during these last few weeks since the State of Emergency was declared?"

Roxanna Lemus
"So, it has been really to hard just like on everyone else because we had to make that decision to, sending staff home, and having them on hold until everything comes back. The Zoo depends a lot on foreign guests. We do get a lot of Belizeans who come to the Zoo, but most of our income comes from guests who come from outside. Our income depends on them, and so it has been a challenge because we have all these 200+ animals to feed. It's a lot of money that goes into feeding them, but we've had a lot of people who've supported us during this time."

Opening hours for this Saturday and Sunday will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The last admission for a full tour of the Zoo is at 3:15 p.m., to give the visitors and the staff enough time to provide the full zoo experience.

Admission is $7 for adults and $2 for children, ages 3 to 12. Also, every family group that visits during the soft launch will be gifted with a complimentary copy of a guide book for Zoo.

Channel 7

Re: Belize Zoo Soft Re-opening May 23rd & 24th [Re: Marty] #542539
05/23/20 05:42 AM
05/23/20 05:42 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,905
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

The Belize Zoo to host a soft re-opening this weekend!

The best little zoo in the world will re-open with a bang – for a soft launch this weekend. Three new educational ambassadors will make their debut this weekend. Today, our friends at the zoo gave us a sneak peek of the new highlights that you’ll be able to see if you visit this Saturday or Sunday. Here’s the story with Andrea Polanco:

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Meet Lindo – he is the newest jaguar ambassador. He has graduated from the rehab programme and will meet the public this weekend. He was a problem jaguar who was rescued from Blue Creek in northern Belize. But has turned away from his old ways and now he can roll, give high fives and show off his jumping skills.

Celso Poot, Operations Manager, TBZ

“We have had time to work one on one with Lindo. He is one of the jaguars we rescued. He was a problem animal causing havoc with farmers and Sharon and the zoo keepers have worked tirelessly with Lindo making him more people friendly. Tomorrow we will be introducing Lindo to the public for them to get a firsthand look at a cat that was once a problem animal and is now an ambassador for its species here at the Belize Zoo.”

Two other special ambassadors will also make their debut to the public this weekend; Lourdess the Tapir and Ranger the Scarlet Macaw:

Celso Poot

“Ranger is the Scarlet Macaw that was rescued by the FCD in the Chiquibul and subsequently cared for by the Wildlife Referral Clinic and then ended up at the Belize Zoo as an ambassador for scarlet macaw species. He was born with a defect and cannot fly and so we have him as an educational ambassador here at the zoo. Lourdess the tapir we rescued from the Lord’s Bank area in 2019 – she also couldn’t be released back into the wild. She was hit by a car and is blind in an eye and has some dental problems. The recommendation from the vet was that we keep her here at the zoo for her older years. So, we were able to fundraise and get someone to sponsor a new exhibit for the tapir extension and so Lourdess will be debuting to the public tomorrow as well.”

After closing its grounds to visitors for eight weeks, the Belize Zoo is hosting its soft opening on Saturday and Sunday with those three new experiences.  Visitors must wear masks. The zoo is also implementing other safety measures:

Celso Poot

“We are really excited to be reopening after eight weeks. The zoo, we probably closed before the government recommended the complete closure of the country. One of the reasons we closed is because we had no visitors and we were operating. But we have had some time to really work with our animals one on one. The zoo keeper has spent a lot of time along with Sharon to really look at what we will be offering when the zoo open tomorrow. It is a soft reopening.

The zoo has more than one mile of pathway all across the grounds. We will monitor that to see what the visitation will be like. We don’t expect to have a thousand people. For our café, people will need to preorder before they go in and have their name down so that we don’t have too many people rushing that area. So we will be abiding by the requirements of social distancing. You need to have your mask and we will be providing hand sanitizer coming in and as you enter and exit the café if you choose to go in there.”

And as a special treat for every family, you will be gifted with this guide book to the Best Little Zoo in the world, authored by founder Sharon Matola.

Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.

he Zoo will open for visitors this Saturday and Sunday from nine in the morning to four in the evening. The last tour will begin at three-fifteen.  Cover charge for adults is seven dollars and two dollars for children three to twelve-years-old.

Channel 5

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