Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Jean Byrd Centre Blog

Written by Headman Matyumza and Kelvin Buys
April 2017

Shamwari Conservation Experience volunteers who visited and helped out.

Hey all, a warm greeting from the the team at the Jean Byrd centre. It’s been a very busy month, we did a lot of cleaning and we transferred Queen to Kuma’s old enclosure so we could prepare the empty enclosure for a certain lion who was about to join our family….   This is Ciam who was born in a circus in France then was illegally kept as a pet in a small cage in someone’s garden.  

The students were a great help when they came to build the shelter for Ciam, due to arrive next month.  Guys, I must say it has been great to count on help from every Division at Shamwari especially the Wildlife team who came when needed, without any questions asked. 


Shada, rescued from a French circus in November 2006


Shada looks good and eats very well, she still loves to drink water before her meal. One morning when we did our fence checks we saw her eating a Guinea fowl in the front corner of her main camp. She is a good hunter, poor Guinea fowl.  She is still very active for an old lady – she is 20 years old - and her recent hunting success shows that she still has life left. Our guests see her a lot and they have the same comments about her: she is very beautiful.

Jora and Black, rescued from a Bulgarian circus in September 2015

Black, left, and Jora right.

The two brothers are looking good, and turning into great male lion kings.  They love each other and they are always together. We still feed them separately and we are glad to say that they eat all their food. The boys love to roar in the morning and then all the other lions join in. Jora and Black test each other’s strength but for now we not sure who the dominant one is of the two. Jora and Shada still chase each other along the fence line at feeding time, but Black has only one thing on his mind then and that is his food. 



It is with a sad heart that we must tell you on 5th April, we had to say farewell to our big boy Jabulani whom we very much loved.  He died after not responding to treatment for kidney failure.

Queen was looking for her friend/lover for a while in the camp. She really misses him, but when we transferred her to Kuma’s old camp, to make preparations for Ciam, she seemed to settle in very nicely.  At first she would hide in the trees and bushes at the top of the camp and we thought she feared Jora and Black next door, but now she is very calm and uses the whole camp. 

Leda and her daughter Rhea.  Rescued from Limassol Zoo in Cyprus in June 2009


Mom and her daughter are doing fantastically well. 

Leda is fine, she eats very well and our guests love the shine of her fur. She loves to bask in the sun, sometimes on her shelter.  She uses both enclosures Rhea is seen mostly in her main camp and sometimes we see her in her hospital camp; we think this is when comes to check on what her mom is doing.  She looks very good too.    

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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