Jaguar "Experiences" in Roatan

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#1
31 Posts
Joined May 2014
I was looking at pictures of Little French Key and found out that you can swim with their jaguar for an extra fee. Does anyone know of any other places you can touch and/or photograph jaguars in Roatan? If it's an upcharge, how much more is it?

We also want to see monkeys so anything that does both would be cool.
#2
Tallahassee , FL
15,253 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
I'm not sure I'd be "game" enough to swim with a jaguar. But Maya Key (a ship based excursion) has an animal rescue with all sorts of different animals. They have had jaguars in the past, but their animal selection isn't fixed.
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#3
Austin
248 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
I read somewhere (can't find it now) that they stopped doing that when the jaguar got too big. But if you are going to Belize, there are 2 jaguars in the zoo that you can interact with from the safety of a cage. Yes, they put YOU in the cage lol. Just do a search for Belize Zoo Junior Buddy and Belize Zoo Lucky Boy.
#4
OH
25,386 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
LFK is the only place that I'm aware of that has the jaguar swim. Yes, after a certain age, they will stop doing this. At this moment, they are still doing the jaguar swims (as of last month) because he is still young.







As for Maya Key, they had a jaguar when we were there last, but you could not go around him (other than looking at him from outside the cage).




Also the animals at Maya Key can not be held other than a monkey that they will bring around to the beach area and tell you to meet over in front of the monkey island at a certain time and they would allow you to hold him.

At LFK, they have a lot of animals they will allow you to hold.
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#5
756 Posts
Joined May 2013
Little French Key!! It was $35 dollars on top of the cost of the tour, it was awesome. It isn't so much of a swim as it is playing in the water with him (his name is Simba). They said they used to do it on land, but he got bored and would get nippy. In the water, he is swimming the entire time, exercising!

It is so so worth it. Simba is such a beautiful creature. It totally made my cruise.

They also have several different monkeys to play with, a kinkajou, and some birds you could play with.











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#6
Dallas, TX
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Joined Jul 2014
If the jaguar swim is still available in May, I'm all in for that. It's so tough to photograph big cats because they're always behind fences or glass. So getting to be around one with no fencing and then being able to interact with one would just be awesome.

By the photos it looks like you get to play with lots of critters at LFK. I think that would be awesome.
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#7
Texas
227 Posts
Joined May 2011
Please be aware that by paying to "interact" with a big cat, which may seem really neat, only serves to encourage the continued capture and unnatural caging of animals who should be left in the wild. It is very likely that the cat has been declawed, a very painful procedure. It is also likely the cat has had teeth removed to make it less dangerous.

People are certainly free to do what they want, just realize that sometimes you are having a good time at the expense of another living creature.

Just my 2 cents...
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#8
OH
25,386 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by ROXIETHEHORSE
Please be aware that by paying to "interact" with a big cat, which may seem really neat, only serves to encourage the continued capture and unnatural caging of animals who should be left in the wild. It is very likely that the cat has been declawed, a very painful procedure. It is also likely the cat has had teeth removed to make it less dangerous.

People are certainly free to do what they want, just realize that sometimes you are having a good time at the expense of another living creature.

Just my 2 cents...

Please be aware that this place is a RESCUE place. Without the help from these people, these animals would likely die in the wild or to the hands of people that abused them when they were rescued. They can not be released to the wild because they would never survive. Please do your homework about the circumstances behind the animals there.
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#9
756 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by ROXIETHEHORSE
Please be aware that by paying to "interact" with a big cat, which may seem really neat, only serves to encourage the continued capture and unnatural caging of animals who should be left in the wild. It is very likely that the cat has been declawed, a very painful procedure. It is also likely the cat has had teeth removed to make it less dangerous.



People are certainly free to do what they want, just realize that sometimes you are having a good time at the expense of another living creature.



Just my 2 cents...

My arms can attest to the fact he is not declawed and he had all his teeth. The animals are all rescues, the habitats are so so big. They love their animals.
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#10
Texas
227 Posts
Joined May 2011
Well good for them for rescuing. I'm just not a fan of putting a wild animal in a "pay for interaction" situation.
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#11
756 Posts
Joined May 2013
So 35 per person, when I was there 9 people were signed up (with more asking about signing up when I left the area ) 9 x 35 that's $315 that goes to building enclosures, caring for animals, rescuing other animals in just an hour or so, the entire time Simba was getting some nice exercise Plus the pictures are great conversation starters and help draw more people to LFK to help support the rescued animals. It's a win win win. This place is amazing.
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#12
756 Posts
Joined May 2013
And they only do it if Simba is up to it and the conditions are right. They will skip it if he is not in the mood or the sun isn't out.
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#13
Dallas, TX
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Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by SunshineCruiser24
So 35 per person, when I was there 9 people were signed up (with more asking about signing up when I left the area ) 9 x 35 that's $315 that goes to building enclosures, caring for animals, rescuing other animals in just an hour or so, the entire time Simba was getting some nice exercise Plus the pictures are great conversation starters and help draw more people to LFK to help support the rescued animals. It's a win win win. This place is amazing.
You're right, of course. If not for being rescued, these animals would almost certainly be dead. That's MUCH better than being pampered and cared for at LFK. I think it's great that the animals are taken care of, and as you said, they're increasing awareness and interest in their own lives AND the conservation of their breeds in their current role.

I sent a note to LFK to see if they would still be offering the Swim with Simba in May and they said they would, so I'm going to jump at that opportunity. We will just get a taxi and go there on our own rather than doing a private or RCCL excursion.

A couple questions -

were you able to reserve that in advance?
If not, where and when did you reserve that?
What time do they do the interaction?
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#14
756 Posts
Joined May 2013
They only do the interaction if Simba is up to it and there is sunshine outside. When I first got there the guy who showed us around said that they didn't do it anymore. Simba's handler said that he might have said that because he didn't want to get anyone's hopes up in case they didn't do it that day. I don't know if there's a set time I was just walking from the zoo to the bar and noticed Simba wasn't in his cage then went looking for them, they were at the beach next to the second bar. There was two guys, you go to the one with the notebook and put your name on the list and when it's your turn you give him the cash.

I was worried that Simba would get tired of interactions before I got my turn, since I was like the 7th person in line, but they said Simba had the energy to do groups of more than 50 people. He likes people and while he is there, he is swimming in the water, he isn't standing. He's exercising and stretching his legs :-)
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#15
Texas
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Joined Jan 2015
Is playing or interacting with the monkeys and parrots included in the zoo tour? Or is there a separate charge? I couldn't tell for sure from reading the website. Thank you
#16
756 Posts
Joined May 2013
Yes. The only animal that is extra to interact with is the jaguar.
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#17
OH
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Originally posted by SunshineCruiser24
Yes. The only animal that is extra to interact with is the jaguar.

Don't forget the horse rides in the ocean are an extra charge too.
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#18
756 Posts
Joined May 2013
I forgot about the horses. I never saw anyone doing them.
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#19
OH
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Originally posted by SunshineCruiser24
I forgot about the horses. I never saw anyone doing them.

They are always posting pictures of people doing them over in the pretty lagoon area. However, when we were there we did them but it was over by the new jaguar cage they are building, which is very rocky, so it wasn't the greatest experience.
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CARNIVAL:
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BAHAMAS:Great Stirrup Cay Half Moon Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Paradise
BARBADOS:Boatyard
BELIZE:Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Shark Ray Alley Goffs Rendezvous
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Snorkel Park Tobacco St Catherines Achilles Jet Ski/boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Snorkel Park
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ROATAN: LFKey LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK scuba
SAN JUAN:Pamelas
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#20
756 Posts
Joined May 2013
I saw the horses and donkey in their stable thing. But I never saw anyone do it. I remember your review of it though. Your review is what pushed me over the edge to book it.
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