This morning, we got up early for a final hike before our 7 AM departure. At 7:30, the bus still hadn’t arrived. We called to discover that the bus hadn’t left yet, and was 4 hours away. We were scheduled to tour the ATM cave in the morning, but by the time we arrived we had missed our spot and wouldn’t have made it out of the cave until 7. To make matters more exciting, our bus driver decided that he was dropping us off with all our bags at the cave, and wouldn’t drive us all the way to our hotel as we had originally thought. We got a new bus driver, and stopped at a souvenir shop and ate lunch at a restaurant. I tried tamarind juice for the first time and it was delicious!
Then, we drove to the Belize Zoo. We went on a night tour of the zoo, which was amazing. All of their animals are native to Belize, either rescues or animals in rehabilitation. We got to see jaguars, ocelots, pumas, and margays that we’ve been living with all week in the forest, but never actually seen. We got to feed a tapir named Indie, who was confiscated as a baby from the pet trade. We also saw an adorable pair of pacas, which are large rodents with similar size and coloration to baby tapirs. Pacas are hunted for their skin and meat, and hunters often accidentally shoot baby tapirs while hunting pacas.
We didn’t do much hiking today, and I didn’t see any termites. Tomorrow I’ll be giving termites a rest and searching for red algae!