Caribbean Wildlife in Belize - Additional Information

More details about the project

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The Caribbean Wildlife Centre was established in 1983 as a final effort to provide a home for a collection of wild animals which had been used in making documentary films about tropical forests. We have been supporting them since 2008.

Shortly after the project began, they quickly realized that the Belizean visitors were unfamiliar with the different species of wildlife living in their country. This encouraged the team’s commitment to develop into a dynamic wildlife education centre. A visit to the centre is the best way to get an introduction to the animals of Belize, and to understand why it is important to protect the habitats that sustain them. 

Due to a lack of understanding and education many animals in Belize are wrongly persecuted for killing farm animals, seen as a threat or kept illegally as pets so the centre works to help educate visitors on native animal facts and allows visitors to meet them face to face. Each year the centre receives around 80,000 visitors 50% of whom are Belizean and 13,000 are Belizean school students.

The centre’s Education Department is committed to achieving the following goals: 

  • Heighten awareness and increase appreciation of the natural world
  • Promote the recognition and understanding of Belize's unique ecosystems and diverse wildlife
  • Instil sound knowledge, positive attitudes and valuable skills that will aid in the preservation of Belize's natural resources

All animals at the centre are native to Belize and they live in sensitively fenced and maintained enclosures to ensure that the animals live in an environment as close as possible to their natural habitat. 

The centre runs a ‘problem jaguar’ rescue programme which aims to educate local people about jaguars and reduce the conflict between local farmers and jaguars which may pray upon their livestock. The centre currently has over 15 jaguars many of which have been relocated from communities where they are seen as a threat, injured or domesticated. 

The centre believes that by bringing the people of Belize closer to the animals which are their natural heritage, they will feel proud of these special resources, and want to protect them for future generations. They educate the local communities on how this is possible and have active education programmes in local schools.

The centre is proudly the first and currently the only nature destination in Belize that is accessible to people with physical disabilities.

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