Jaguar Reserve

Belize Travel Blog

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I found a Tommygaf (Fer-de-Lance)on one of our hikes. This is the deadliest snake in Belize. They don't play.
I'm sure this picture won't actually help people be more reassured about coming to visit the reserve, but all the same I was very proud of myself for finding the snake.  Fer-de-Lance snakes are not too uncommon in Belize and are found throughout Mexico, and Central and South America.  Actually, this is the snake most responsible for human death in all of the Americas.  On average the Fer-de-Lance injects more than twice the amount of venom required to kill a human. 

Don't worry!  Go hiking!  Haha...besides it would be much more boring to die having never gone hiking in the tropical Americas because you were scared of a little snake, than if you got bit by one of these suckers.  By the way, one of their nicknames is the 7-stepper.
A plane wrecked by one of the scientists that helped create the Jaguar reserve.
  They say if you get bit you only make it 7 steps before you croak.  I don't think its true, and people do survive these bites.  At the entrance to the park, in the same place where you can find the restaurant, you can also get traditional Maya remedies and visit the bush doctor for any emergencies.

Scared?  Nevermind!  Just keep your eyes out and walk with a big stick.  ;D

Anyway, I hiked all over the country and other parts of Central America for 2 years and never once saw one of these little babies.  Not until I went back did I finally see one, and it just sat there like a statue (although they are known to be aggressive and territorial).  Very photogenic though!

On another hike we had the opportunity to visit a plane wreck left from an accidental crash by Alan Rabinowitz, the scietist who helped create the reserve.  All praise goes to this guy, the acting Director for Science and Exploration at the Wildlife Conservation Society based at the Bronx Zoo, who's research resulted in the creation of CBWS, which protects such a vast beauty of untouched Belizean Jungle. 

CBWS is home to Victoria Peak, the tallest mountain in Belize at a whopping 3,543 feet.  You can arrange to climb the mountain, but you must go with a guide as it is a day's hike to the base of the mountain, a day to summit and return to base camp, and a day's hike out.  Other attractions of this park are over 300 species of bird including the Keel-billed Toucan (Belize's National Bird), Emerald Toucanett, Great Curassow, Scarlet Macaw, and King Vulture.  This is also a great place to get a glimpse of a Red-eyed Tree Frog.  CBWS hosts at least 55 species of mammals like the jaguar, Baird's Tapir (Belize's National Animal), coati, howler monkey, anteater, and Red Brocket Deer.  There are several hiking trails throughout the reserve, many of which lead to waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and other points of interest.
ariel444 says:
my uncle got bitten by one of those as a kid!! fortunately he was okay but the story scares me everytime my mom tells it...
you're very brave to get that close for a picture!!
Posted on: May 08, 2008
yadilitta says:
wow! that sounds amazing!
Posted on: Apr 09, 2008
Reephboy says:
Yeah, I wouldn't want one living under my cabin. They are territorial, as I said, and they say that a large Yellowjaw Tommygoff will actually charge at you. You know there is a Jumping Tommygoff too? Crazy. The superstition is that it can jump, but I think that it just strikes so aggressively that it springs forward a bit. The nearest actual hospital is in Belmopan, yes, a 2 hour drive. Some say they would rather the Maya medicine. I would probably haul buns for the hospital with my bitten appendage held high and wrapped tight! Maybe I'd grab the bush doctor for the ride though...;D
Posted on: Mar 30, 2008
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I found a Tommygaf (Fer-de-Lance)o…
I found a Tommygaf (Fer-de-Lance)…
A plane wrecked by one of the scie…
A plane wrecked by one of the sci…