Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Jean Byrd Animal Care Blog February 2011

Written by Martin


February was a distressing month for all of us here following the sad death on the 9th of one of our leopards, Roxanni. To the Born Free team we grieve with you so much for her. Sometimes words can not express how we feel, but we loved Roxanni.  We miss her so much and she will be always remembered.

Brutus and Marina

Brutus was rescued from a French circus and Marina was found abandoned in Romania.

Well, Brutus and Marina are so attached to one another. They need each other.  I see them more often together playing and following each other, and sometimes stalking Shada. When it’s hot they like to sleep in the middle of the camp, Brutus inside the shelter and Marina outside under the shade of acacia bushes. These days during feeding we prefer to put Brutus inside the hospital camp and Marina in the main camp, because Brutus doesn’t wash his meat in the water trough like Marina does.  Both are doing well and they look relaxed in their enclosure.

The lions Brutus and Marina


Rescued from a French circus

Shada spends most of her time by the bottom fence sleeping; she only goes to the hospital camp during feeding time. These days she is not interested in Brutus and Marina. Recently we saw her running fast up the camp holding a leg of meat in her jaws. She dropped it and picked it and started running as if she was being followed. It was funny to watch her exercising on her own. She eats her food well and she looks healthy too.



Rescued from Abidjan Zoo in Ivory Coast

Kuma tries by all means to avoid the heat of the day and spends more time at the top of his enclosure in a cool shade. I normally hear him rasping early in the morning, but when we check the fences if we don’t see him at the bottom we go up the enclosure to make sure he is fine. Sometimes he snarls at us but not every time, he does that mostly when he’s got food. We gave him some liver and he was happy. He was sitting there quietly taking his time to eat.

Kuma the leopard

Leda Roxanni and Rhea

Rescued from Limassol Zoo

Roxanni died of a heart attack in her enclosure on 9th of February. We fed the cats that day at 1345hrs. Roxanni didn’t come down to the hospital camp as usual to get her food so we went around looking for her. I saw her lying on her side behind a bush. I called her three times, but there was no movement. I called Sidney while Headman went to fetch the keys. We tried to throw stones close to her, still there was no response and it was really a scary moment because we had not been expecting the worst. It was only at that moment we realized that Roxanni might be dead. We drove inside to check for sure she was gone, and her body was still warm. It was difficult for us to accept because earlier on Headman had seen her walking along the fence. We took her to Amanzi for autopsy and we buried her the following day besides Sarnia.

Leda, Roxanni’s mother, she is doing well.  We see her almost on a daily basis walking across her enclosure, sometimes she goes to the hospital camp and rests a little bit there and other times she sits on the ‘jungle gym’ observing what’s going on around her. She looks well and eats well.

Rhea, Roxanni’s sister, she is doing well. She also likes to hang around at the top of her enclosure when it’s hot and during feeding she comes down to the hospital camp to get her food. She is no longer spending as much time in the hospital camp as she was doing before.

Limassol Leopards
Rhea resting

Jools and Jerry

Rescued from Buhusi Zoo in Romania

These two like each other so much, they are always together. It’s now starting to get warm in the afternoons so they like to hide in the shelter inside the hospital camp or in the bushes close to the water trough. Jools looks just beautiful, she gets excited with food; the moment she grabs her portion of meat she runs without stopping and it’s so exciting when she does that. She likes to eat inside the bushes, while Jerry likes to eat his meat besides the water trough.

Jools’ skin condition is looking much better and she is healthy too. They do spend most of their time sleeping in a shade or under the acacia bushes grooming each other especially when it’s warm. The heat of the day does not allow them to move more often. Jerry is doing well always glued to his mum. It’s really good to see them relaxing, enjoying each others company.

Jools and Jerry the lions

Sinbad, the leopard triplets and the other big cats in the Julie Ward Centre

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

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