Petencito in Flores; The MOST Depressing Animal Sanctuary In The World?

the bridge

Whilst we were in Flores, we spent some time on a Lancha on Lago Peten seeing iguana island visiting an amazing centre called Las Arcas (a rehabilitation centre for animals rescued from the illegal pet & traffic trade) however we also went to Petencito. Supposedly an animal rescue centre, it is actually a zoo AND the most depressing animal zoo I’ve ever seen.


Petencito zoo, Flores

Petencito In Flores Is ATTROCIOUS

We visited Petecito on our first afternoon in Flores. Excited for a trip across the lake and a chance to see a complete set of Guatemalan wildlife, it turned out to be a waste of money (40 GTQ per person) and I fear that all we did was extend the suffering of those poor animals in cages.


The entrance to Petencito Zoo in Flores

Why Is Petencito So Bad?

The animals and their cages were filthy and many stank. For example the water in the turtles pool was obviously stagnant and green with a thick layer of algae on the top.

The cages and enclosures were far too small for the animals, almost full of mud and no plants and it was heartbreaking to see how sad and lifeless the animals seemed.

Apart from a few wild boars and some spider monkeys, not one of the animals were moving in a natural manner. Some even seemed to be suffering from zoo pyschosis.


Wild boars sleeping in the shade at Petencito Zoo


A bird at Petencito zoo follows you around begging for food

The Bridge Looks Like It’ll Break…

Go over the bridge (which looked it was about to break) to the larger part of the zoo where our boat guy told us to stay close by as gangs roam the zoo looking for tourists.

The jaguar and puma cages were broken and looked as if the animals had escaped – for the best probably.  It is depressing and looks like a zoo 5 years after a zombie apocalypse killed all the grounds keepers. Somehow the animals survived the zombie virus in their rusty cages and patiently await the wire to rust away to nothing at all; allowing them to once again walk freely in a human-less world.


The bridget at Petencito island

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What Animals Do They Have?

In the cages are some monkeys which follow you around, screeching to be fed. There’s also a sad looking puma and a pathetic jaguar at the bottom of a ravine. A single deer was fed by a local girl as there was little grass growing in its enclosure.


A Tepezquintle

A few Tepezquintle were curled up asleep on a concrete floor, two oselots were also curled up with little in their cage other than a single branch.

This pizote was suffering from psychosis and walking from one end of the branch to the other repetitively whilst swaying.


Pizote at Petencito

What Else Can You Do In Flores

But don’t worry, if you’re looking for things to do in Flores, there’s plenty of other activities that are way more interesting and better to see.

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