Mammals are a group of animals with backbones, bodies covered by hair, they nurse their young with milk, and have a unique jaw articulation. Mammals are also the group of animals to which humans belong. Mammals of Belize include, but are not limited to, the tapir, monkey, jaguar, gibnut and kinkajou.

There are two species of monkeys in Belize: Howler and Spider. Monkeys range in size with Howlers being the largest. Be careful of the monkeys, although they are so cute and adorable. Monkeys have been known to throw items such as rocks, fruit and coconuts at people. Monkeys are as dangerous as any other animal found in the wild. Jaguars are the largest mammals in Belize, as big as six feet long plus thirty inches for tail. Like any big cat, Jaguars are dangerous and should not be approached or feed.

Paca are widely known as gibnuts in Belize and are the most prized game animals in the country. The Queens Rat is one of the many local names that have been given to the Paca. It is said that the queen of England was fed Paca on one of her visits to Belize. Paca are rodents like the Capybara of South America but only half the size and there fur is like a baby deers with white spots.

Because the tapir is the national animal of Belize it is illegal to hunt and kill them. Belizeans call them “mountain cows.” Mostly nocturnal, Tapirs eat grass and fruits. Growing up to six feet long, tapirs are the largest herbivore in Belize. April the tapir is the most famous tapir in Belize. She resides at the Belize Zoo. Each year, sometime in the month of April, Belizeans celebrate Aprils birthday with a horse chow cake as the local children and the visitors gather and sing Happy Birthday to April.

Kinkajou known as “night walkers” in Belize are cute and look like lemurs. Kinkajous are nocturnal and loves fruits and insects. Only about six pounds and two and a half feet long, including the tail, Kinkajous love to jump from tree to tree high in the Belizean jungle canopy.

Belize is home to over 200 species of mammals, birds and reptiles. The animals listed above are only a few of the many mammals and even fewer animals as a whole in Belize. I hope you enjoy the wonderful animals of Belize as much as I do!