Wild Things

Life isn’t all dogs and cats.  Sometimes, whether it be in the clinic or in daily life I get to see some of the native Belizean wildlife.  If they need specialized care, a place to live, or to be released elsewhere, we send them to Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic on the mainland.

There are a number of native protected species of parrots in Belize.  You must have a permit to keep one as a pet.  The most common that I have seen as a patient is the red-lored amazon.  I have also seen the yellow-headed amazon, as well as a juvenile parrot that was wild.  They have come in for everything from injured legs and wings, to sneezing, to vomiting and diarrhea.

Some animals have been more of the scaly type.  The american crocodile is present on the island.  My dog thinks he could take one on, NOT a good idea! These pictures were taken from my own yard. The group ACES  (American Crocodile Education Sanctuary) looks after the health and safety of crocs in our area.  They even offer night tours!

We also have iguanas of varying ages and sizes.  Although I have not seen one in the clinic, I have sutured up a dog who was at the losing end of an iguana encounter.  Older mature males start to turn orange in mating season.  They often are together in mating pairs (seen below on the left).  I call the big guy (below on the right) “The King”.  They love to sun themselves on my dock.

Some are furry and all too familiar.  Raccoons are very common and we helped out these little orphans.

Some are related but not familiar at all!  A cousin of the raccoon, the coati (or coatimundi) lives in Belize but I saw these wild ones in Tikal, Guatemala.

Finally, one of the coolest so far, someone called in seeing a collared anteater (or Tamandua) in a coconut tree near a big local business.  Although they are native to Belize, it is very unlikely that they would be hanging out in town.  It is more likely to have been dropped there as a failed pet or translocated by a human.  The staff went out and caught her to bring her in.  We tried to send her in a crate to the mainland, but due to the strong smell of her urine she was declined as an airplane passenger.  Hmmm, what to do?  Sedation, bath, clean towel, spritz.  Back to the airport and on to the mainland.  Success!


Belize is full of interesting wildlife.  I look forward to seeing even more….some from more of a distance than others!



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