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The Belize Zoo

The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center is a zoo in Belize, located some 29 miles (47 km) west of Belize City on the Western Highway - Central America. The zoo was founded in 1983 by Sharon Matola. It is home to more than 125 animals of about 48 species, all native to Belize. The natural environment of Belize is left entirely intact within the zoo. The dense, natural vegetation is separated only by gravel trails through the forest. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center receives almost 15,000 school children every year.

The Belize Zoo focuses on educating visitors about the wildlife of Belize through encountering the animals in their natural habitat. The aim is to instill appreciation and pride, and a desire to protect and conserve Belize's natural resources. The Zoo was the recipient of Belize Tourism Board's 9th National Tourism Award, "Educational Award of the Year" in 2009.

By 2010 the Belize Zoo was home to more than 170 individuals of 48 species native to Belize. Keeping to its goal of bringing visitors closer to Belize's natural heritage, the zoo only houses native animals. No zoo animal has ever been taken from the wild. Zoo residents were either people’s pets, donated to the Zoo, injured and brought in for healing and rehabilitation, born at the Zoo, or sent to the Zoo from another Zoological facility.




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