Becky as tiger bait
At the Belize Zoo you can make a lil extra donation and get into a small cage inside Juniors big regular cage. They coax him into a small area in the big cage, then close him off. Next we went into the jaguars big cage and walked awhile til we came to a small cage about 5 feet tall and wide and maybe 8 feet long. We went in there wit a guide and some chicken wings. Then they opened up Junior's small enclosure and let him into the big cage with us in the small cage. He walked around the enclosure, on top of it, layed down in front of us on his back and made kitty sounds and behaviors, we petted him thru the wire. He also stood on a large log and was big time studly. Eventually it was time to go and they coaxed him back into the small enclosure (its not fast, nor a certain time-able action). Its all on Junior's time. Can't make something happen with a cat that big. No one can push or pull him or even get that close without that wire between you and him.
Beautiful cage for him, the big cage. Super natural. I Love the Belize Zoo. and I Love the Belize Museum Too (Another day...).
by Mary Gonzalez
This was right before he clambered onto the cage we were in, and began licking our foreheads. lol...he's just a big kitttyyyyy!!! :P (with a 900lb crushing power per inch of tooth)
This top predator has fascinated people for centuries. This large cat has a very powerful jaw. The jaguar ensures a healthy forest ecosystem – they help to control prey population size and slow down the spread of diseases.
This species is threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation of forest, conflict with local people over livestock depredation, and overhunting of the jaguar’s prey.
Ya'axché is working with local and international partners to save jaguars, one of the focus is on the issue of human-jaguar conflict. We are working with farmers to improve the management of livestock farms.
Photographs by Marty Casado
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Other Belizean "Pictures of the Day":
San Pedro Daily, Tony Rath's "Images of Belize"