Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Julie Ward Big Cat Diary August 2012

Written by Glen Vena, Animal Care Manager

Where do I start?  This month was definitely very exciting. 

We had some adoptive parents who came to visit during this time and they got to share the special moments with us. The Spence’s had adopted Sinbad and were celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary by seeing him!

Janine Harman came to visit too.  She is generous BFF supporter as she adopted many of our rescued cats. She was here to spend some time with us and the cats.

Sidney Janine and Martin looking at Sinbad

Jean Byrd was here too, the sponsor of our Jean Byrd Centre sanctuary.  She had come to see something very special, the reunion between Kuma the leopard who lives at our Jean Byrd Centre, and Kuma’s old owner, Alberto, who had rescued him.  Kuma and Alberto hadn’t seen each other for over 13 years. 

Read all about Kuma and Alberto's reunion here.

Sirius – rehomed from Monaco Zoo in January 2008

A few days ago I found a scrub hare on the road,  it looks like somebody driving a vehicle had hit him.  Now I did not want his little body to go to waste so I picked him up and brought him back for Sirius.

I walked round Sirius’ camp with the scrub hare in my hand and Sirius kept following me.  He kept the bushes between himself and me, but his eyes were focused on the meat the whole time. By the time I gave it to him he was so eager to get it, he was right at the fence purring at me – the purring was a first!   He looks great I thought to myself …. I gave him his food and he took it nicely and went to sit under a bush where I still could observe him … He went for the soft parts first and started to eat all the intestines and other organs and he looked very pleased with himself as if he had caught the scrub hare. When he was done with the soft parts he started to pluck the fur off the carcass and he would then shake the fur out of his mouth and he would show his very impressive white canines at me. I didn’t take a photo of all this, as he doesn’t like having his photo taken and I wanted him to just enjoy the experience.

After a short while I left him to himself.  He is looking good, very good. He is old now though, 21 years old we think, so at all times I do expect the worst, but he shows no sign of any health problems.


Sinbad – rescued from Bacau Zoo in Romania in August 2007

These days Sinbad chooses to lie in front of the viewing deck more and more and when the guests see him he will roll on his back and make sort-of meowing sounds, but just imagine a lion doing it, so it sounds more like a growl then anything else!. He has many friends from the UK come to visit him, so gets the most visitors of all our cats. 


Sinbad dozing peacefully

Ma Juah and Achee.  Ma Juah was rescued from a Liberian Zoo in July 2004, and Achee was rehomed from a private home in Romania in September 2004

The girls look good, very ‘chilled’ as I would say.  Now and then you would see them looking at the leopard triplets on one side of their enclosure, or at Sinbad on the other, but with not much interaction between them.  Most days lately they remain hidden in the bushes, just minding their own business.

Just to give you an idea of what you see most of the time when you visit Ma Juah and Achee – a nice view! (Plus a fork tail drongo on this occasion.)

Triplets: - Sami, Alam, Nimira.  Rescued from Sudan in July 2001

They are looking good and very handsome. A favourite place of theirs is their ‘jungle gyms’, their viewing decks, looking out across the reserve.


That’s the triplets all together a bit out of focus but as you can see Alam to the right of the picture, getting ready to run, Nimira left and Sami at the back

Brutus and Marina.  Brutus was rescued from a French circus in April 2008 and Marina was rescued from Romania in 2008

Looking good, playful as ever, always very close to each other.
They are separated for eating but Marina still eats very fast and would sometimes choke on her own food, as she gulps it down.  Hmmm not very lady-like, hey!

Read all about the other Big Cat exploits at the Jean Byrd Centre

Find out more about Alberto and Kuma's touching reunion

Brutus very serious walking in his camp and Marina was just behind him…
Well Marina was trying to tackle Brutus but he just kept on walking!
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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