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The Belize Zoo is very sad to share that we said goodbye to one of our most beloved animals: “Carlos” the Puma.

Carlos came to the Zoo 17 years ago from San Carlos Village. A family in the community had found and had been caring for a puma cub, but they realized it would soon to be big and wild to handle, so, they asked the Zoo for help.

He was named for where he was found, and we saw him grow into the handsome cat who won the hearts of Zoo staff and thousands of visitors for almost 2 decades.

17 years is beyond the average life expectancy of wild pumas. They often development many ailments that humans do in their old age, including cancer, which, most unfortunately, Carlos did, too.

Carlos was a magnificent representation of his species. Visitors were always delighted to be greeted by a purring, 115 pound wildcat, who was very vocal about how content he was…especially when he spotted treats in the hands of the Zoo staff! He was a “must see” for many on both day and night tours of the Zoo, and was sponsored by countless donors who would often return to the Zoo over the years to see him.

The Zoo will never be the same without Carlos and his exuberant purr. Our Zookeepers continue to care for “Freddie” and “Princess,” two female rescue pumas who will continue to represent their species in Carlos’ absence. Carlos will live on, however, in our hearts, and of all those who had the honour of meeting him.