Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Big Cat Diary February 2016

Julie Ward Centre Update

February 2016

Written by Glen Vena, Animal Care Manager

February has been great and we have had really hot days. Our cats are doing very well and look great.  Following is news on our rescued lions and leopards.

LEOPARD TRIPLETS, SAMI, ALAM AND NIMIRA.

RESCUED FROM SUDAN MARCH 2001

Here are the triplets relaxing under a tree in the main camp … all is well with them. During the hot weather we do not see much of them as they are doing what is sensible: keeping cool.

They still like to use their platform, and the boys will have a wrestling match for the best spot. 

ACHEE AND SINBAD.  ACHEE WAS REHOMED FROM A PRIVATE OWNER IN ROMANIA IN SEPTEMBER 2004 AND SINBAD WAS RESCUED FROM A ROMANIAN ZOO IN AUGUST 2007.

Achee and Sinbad. They look really good. They are coming closer to each other every day. Achee really takes her time with him. He is a difficult one to read, hey Achee?

I had to share this one of Sinbad, with you all. During feeding I gave him his portion and he just dug in with whatever was left of his canines, and the snarls and noises he was making were just breath taking. 

JERRY, MAGGIE AND SONJA.  JERRRY WAS RESCUED FROM BUHUSI ZOO IN ROMANIA AND ARRIVED SHAMWARI AUGUST 2007; MAGGIE AND SONJA WERE RESCUED FROM A GERMAN CIRCUS AND ARRIVED SHAMWARI MAY 2013

I haven’t manged to get a photo of this little pride this time.  Jerry and Sinbad have been busy going up and down the fence that separates them, sizing each other up, boys will be boys!  Jerry has also been busy mating Sonja (there have been delays in the delivery of the contraceptive hormone implants we need).  However, all three are good and eating well too. 

BRUTUS AND MARINA.  BRUTUS WAS RESCUED FROM A FRENCH CIRCUS AND MARINA FROM A PRIVATE OWNER IN ROMANIA.  BOTH ARRIVED SHAMWARI APRIL 2008

Brutus and Marina are well and looking good too – and I haven’t managed to get a good photo of them either!   Marina is not happy with me as I sprayed them with Frontline tic treatment last month. Hopefully soon she will be over it. Brutus still charges me when we feed, well not just me, whosoever opens his gate, I sometimes think that it is all a game to him and just likes to see us panic… naughty boy! 


JABULANI AND QUEEN, EX BREEDING-FARM LIONS.  ARRIVED SHAMWARI FROM SHAMWARI’S SISTER RESERVE, SANBONA, IN APRIL 2015

Jabulani and Queen are doing very well and look stunning. The day I took this picture it had rained in the night and they had a good shower, and so they were so white.  Jabu kept on grooming himself and Queen was there keeping an eye on him. They do roar on the odd day, and what a mighty roar Jabu has.  When he roars, Queen will roar with him and after a few seconds they finish. Then we would hear Jerry and his girls starting up, then Brutus and Marina, the leopards will start rasping too, even Sinbad and Achee will roar. 

A few weeks back we had the wild lions literally on the Julie Ward Centre door step. I think those wild lions came to investigate who was calling like a king, a king that they had to meet. Even the big southern male lion came to walk past BFF, maybe to show his presence. 

Rest assured all that our cats and Shamwari’s lions will never be able to get to each other. Our perimeter fences and internal fences are up and running and all is in order. 

OTHER NEWS 

Many people came to visit the Julie Ward Centre this month, including our Shamwari Conservation Experience (SCE) students. I am still in the process of arranging poles and extra materials to start building some very needed platforms or ‘jungle gyms’ as we call them for the lions at the centres. These will be great for them as extra stimulation. For this I have the SCE students to assist and they are so looking forward to it. I also had to look at fixing our drive way to the car park of the JW Centre, we had to get extra soil to do the job properly.   

Extra soil was needed for the driveway to do the job properly.

Fixing the driveway at the Julie Ward Centre!

The volunteers were great too, they work so hard when they visit and its great fun to have them, as the job will go as quickly as there is so many hands to help. So here are some photos that were taken by Konrad Muller, one of the co-ordinators, while we were busy. Thank you Konrad for sharing them with us. 

Here we had just finished cleaning Maggie, Sonja and Jerry’s hospital camps, so good to have this assistance as in the past to clean was a mammoth task, now we do it in a matter of minutes, thanks all!
Students cleaning Jabulani and Queen’s camp

The students were sweeping, washing (we use a special disinfectant that doesn’t harm the cats), scraping dirt off the floors.  I tell you these volunteers where everywhere working very hard.

This is a picture of the volunteers, with our Defender. Here we just finished our work at the back of the Triplets’ camp and we were busy loading all our tools to head back to the Centre for a drink.  We have been having very hot days lately this side, temperatures will go up to 40°C!!

We also had Alberto Lena and his family come to visit Kuma at the Jean Byrd Centre.   Alberto had found Kuma for sale as a cub in the forest in Ivory Coast, and was heartbroken when the authorities insisted Kuma be placed in Abidjan Zoo.  The Born Free Foundation eventually managed to rescue Kuma in 1999.  Alberto visited him in 2012, 14 years later – and Kuma remembered him!   Man! What a reunion it was… 

Now Alberto was back again.  He spent a good few minutes with Kuma and Kuma loved every minute of it. It was a warm day though, so we could not stay too long out there and Kuma started to feel the heat too and wanted to stay under the shade. Again he said his goodbye’s.  

Our vet Johan Joubert with Kuma’s original carer, Alberto Lena.
We also managed to get this picture of us with Alberto at the Jean Byrd Centre.

Here is Catherine, Sidney, Thembela and Kingsley Holgate at Hendrik Kanise Combined School, raising awareness for the plight of the Rhino.

Well done to the team that got to meet one of my many living legends Kingsley Holgate, the explorer and humanitarian. I could not be there to meet him in person, however our Defender made it. Thank you for all the work you do too Kingsley, and the awareness you create and all the malaria nets you take to most inaccessible places in Africa. High five!

Jean Byrd herself came to visit too. We had a great time together. She loved seeing Jora and Black together at the Jean Byrd Centre. 

Lots of people with big hearts.

Managed to get this selfie with Jean while visiting the cats…
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906


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