Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey River

Feb 21, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

We woke this morning just off the cost of the beautiful Placencia Village. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is where our venturing begins. This sanctuary was established as a forest preserve more than 30 years ago, in 1984, achieving jaguar preserve status only two short years later. It now supports a thriving population of not only the jaguar but also that of pumas, ocelots, jaguarundis, and margays.

Our explorers had a wealth of adventuring options at their disposal throughout the day. These included tracking through the basin’s extensive trail complex, river tubing, and surveying some of the sanctuary’s 300 bird species.

We re-boarded National Geographic Quest to recharge before a tour later that afternoon along the Monkey River. This river happens to be among the finite few in Belize that do not possess mangrove trees along the river banks. However, what was lost in the way the ubiquitous mangroves was ultimately made up many, many times over in countless other varieties of wildlife inhabiting this area.

Today marks another un-Belizeable day of adventure and sighting on a journey that does not cease to astound.

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About the Author

Wilfred Mutrie


Wilfred lives in Western Belize and has been a licensed tour guide for over 17 years.

About the Photographer

Jeff Litton

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jeff is an environmental filmmaker and adventure cinematographer. His passion for adventure has led him through rural Kenyan villages, atop erupting Guatemalan volcanoes and to the enchanted Galápagos Islands to film Hammerhead Sharks. Being an expedition filmmaker enables Jeff to combine his love for capturing beauty with his drive to protect the environment. In the words of Jacques Cousteau, “people protect what they love.” Inspired, Jeff created, the United Global Environmental News Agency, an online resource to inspire people to care about the environment.

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