Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Julie Ward Centre Blog

December 2018
Written by Glen Vena, Animal Care Manager

Hello all.  Like many of you perhaps, most of our team will be taking leave over Christmas, thus leaving myself, Martin and Kelvin to hold the fort. 

Our lions and leopards are looking great.  However, the heat is making them keep in the shade, so most of our guests visiting our centres are not fortunate enough to see them.  We are sad that our visitors are disappointed but it is important for our cats to be able to retreat into the dense bush when they need to; their welfare has to come first.  

OUR RESCUED LIONS AND LEOPARDS

Nelson, rescued from a French zoo.  He arrived at Shamwari in May 2017

Nelson is a great looking boy.  Sometimes he has a temper, especially around feeding time.  He loves his food, he actually becomes so protective over it that he covers it with his paws and whilst eating he would be growling and lashing his tail side to side and he has his eyes on us all the time. I’m planning to treat him: if I come across a roadkill soon it will be all his.  All is well with him. These days guests would hear him roaring but not see him, he loves his privacy and the shade in the bush.  

Sami and Alam, found as motherless cubs in Sudan.  They arrived at Shamwari in July 2001.

The boys look good, always with each other.  During my fence walk they will be out and about, and they would even follow me all the way round, but by the time I arrive with guests, and the day has got hotter, they have disappeared from view.   Most guests who visit our rescue centre are so wanting to see Sami and Alam, you can see the disappointment in their faces if the brothers do not show up. Other than that, the boys are good and are thriving here. 

Sami resting in the bushes.

Alam is to the right of the picture, he was coming in to drink water, while his brother was under a spekboom bush, busy with what looked like a bone.

Jerry, Maggie and Sonja.  Jerry was rescued from a run-down zoo in Romania and arrived at Shamwari in August 2007; Maggie and Sonja were rescued from a German circus and arrived at Shamwari in January 2015.

The girls are doing well, although now and then I worry about Maggie; she does not always finish the food that she gets, so I end up having to keep her longer in the hospital camp to make sure that she eats.  Well that does not make Sonja happy, I think she would wonders why I have let her out, but not her sister.  Sonja and Jerry will pace the fence, calling to Maggie.  It is very unusual for Maggie not to finish her food, so we are observing her closely, and I will ask our vet to check her if necessary.

Above Jerry and Sonja drinking water in the main camp while Maggie is in hospital camp

Achee was rehomed from a private home in Romania in September 2004; Sinbad was rescued from a Romanian zoo in August 2007.

Life is good for these two and all is well, just look at this picture.  I managed to take this photo on my mobile phone while dong my fence-walk, just as Martin was arriving with some guests.  They enjoyed seeing the cats looking so content. 

Achee and Sinbad chilling

Brutus and Marina.  Brutus was rescued from a French circus; Marina was found as a sickly cub in an apartment in Romania.  They both arrived at Shamwari in April 2008.

Brutus and Marina

They are doing very well, looking good too.  We do see them on the odd occasion with guests and they always get the guests smiling and going “ahhhhh they are so cute”. We had to cut down on Brutus’s food portions slightly, so I still feed them separately to make sure they get what is allocated to them.

So, with that, let’s catch up next year and I hope 2018 will be a fun year for all :)

Read the latest Jean Byrd Centre Diary here

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


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