But who is Richard Foster and why is his passing such a tragedy for the environmental community? Foster had made friends everywhere as a conservationist. The staff of the Belize Zoo consider him part of their family. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) across the country, whether terrestrial or sea, such as Oceana Belize are mourning his loss. The executive director of the Mar Alliance group, Rachel Graham also indicated he was like a grandfather to her kids. A friend of the Foster’s who also works with an NGO in the south, did not wish to be on camera as he too was distraught and had to appear on behalf of Foster’s wife at the postmortem examination today in Belize City. He shared a few thoughts on the man, Belize has lost.
Voice of Richard’s friend: “Richard foster was one of the most generous, kind and gentle souls that I have ever known. He fell in love with Belize in the 1970’s and made it his home. His lifetime has been spent appreciating and capturing the natural world through video and then sharing it for the world to see. As a true pioneer Richard and his lovely wife Carol were among the first filmmakers to document the beauty and diversity of Belize’s nature and cultures. Richard and Carol made dozens of documentary films for National Geographic and BBC as well as dozens of short shows for local Belizean conservation organizations many of which have been shown around the world and have gotten awards for their creative and inspiring work. Richards passion for filming and set design was unmatched in his unique style and art form is without comparison. He would design and create elaborate an naturalistic sets and exhibits to capture wildlife behavior that otherwise would never be seen by the public. In the Wildlife film industry Richard was a legend and he was also a generous and willing mentor to students. His energy as endless, his enthusiasm contagious, and his creativity inspirational. Richard and Carol have been an inseparable and powerful team working together all over the world for decades. Richard was a strong advocate for conserving the beautiful and wild places of Belize and all of his work was dedicated to highlight this beauty, the importance and uniqueness of this country. He was a loving father, uncle brother and devoted husband and the dearest of friends. His untimely death is tragedy beyond measure; not just to his family and friends but to the country and the world; may he rest in peace.”
The management and staff of the Belize Zoo say they will also issue a statement on Foster’s untimely passing.