Hey everyone! This week has been really crazy and I haven’t really had the time to post until now. Anyway, I’ve already learned a lot about wildlife management and conservation by touring the Belize zoo and getting to know some of the native species here. The Baird’s Tapir is the national animal of Belize, and along with the jaguar, keel-billed toucan, and other species, is protected by the Wildlife Protection Act of 1981, which makes it illegal to poach, hunt, possess, or trade any wildlife. Earlier this week, we set up camera traps at protected sites within the forest and savannah to try to and capture any photographs of these animals in their native habitat, which also helps researchers identify individuals and track their migration routes in order to obtain information about their geographic range. We tested the cameras by taking group pictures to ensure they were working properly. Also, we got to perform a physical exam on a tapir, and it seems like he really enjoyed it (along with lots of pets from his favorite keeper). We checked gut sounds, heart rate, and respiratory rate, which were similar to that of a horse, which makes sense as they are both hoofed mammals known as ungulates. I also got to practice my veterinary skills by assisting in another animal health clinic in a small village called Mahogany Heights, where we did physical exams and assisted in spay/neuter surgeries. It’s really rewarding to see the townspeople take advantage of our services and make the best decisions for their pets. This week, we will be visiting primate and raptor centers to learn about their part in the effort to protect Belizean wildlife and get to know more about the species here. Looking forward to it!
>C.E.L.A. Belize Large Animal Veterinary Practices>The Belize Zoo, Animal Clinic, and Camera Trapping!!