The sea horse is the second most surprising creature I came across in Belize (right after the manatee). I never even thought seahorses still existed! I’m not sure why, but I imagined them to be a thing of the past.
Until I saw them in Caye Caulker – swimming and drifting in their natural habitat, by the mangroves off the island’s famous “Split” or swimming area.
This post by current Matador Road Warrior, Norbert Figueroa, reminded me to dig up these images.
Ask around for Ras Creek, a licensed tour guide on Caye Caulker, who has taken it upon himself to protect the seahorses and teach the island’s residents and visitors about the endangered nature of these creatures. One of his dreams is to create a seahorse reserve. (Other times, he runs a sunset cruise off the Split for anyone who’s up for a quick and affordable boat trip).
It was so hard to photograph the seahorses up close not just because they’re tiny in size, but because they’d anchor themselves by the tail on a mangrove branch one second and the next they would float away really fast in between the mangroves.
Cool fact: it’s the only animal species in the world in which the male gives birth, not the female.