Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Julie Ward Centre Blog

February 2017

Written by Glen Vena, Animal Care Manager

Glen Vena

How is everyone doing?  We had a fantastic February this side. Cats are thriving, they look beautiful. We had some good rain, our veld on the reserve looks lush and green.

Well here I am with a big cheesy smile while we are building a platform for our cats.  There is our Defender on the background, she is always around, moving us forward.


Jerry, Maggie and Sonja.  Jerry was rescued from a Romanian zoo and arrived at Shamwari August 2007.  Maggie and Sonja were rescued from a German circus and they arrived at Shamwari January 2015

I didn’t manage to take any good photos of them this time, but here we are hard at work in their enclosure, repairing their viewing platform, while they were in their hospital camp.  Maggie and Sonja had ripped off the board on top of the platform while sharpening their claws, so it was being replaced with stronger wood.

Building the platform

We had lots of great fun while building the platform.   Odwa and Sinethemba help us regularly here at BFF; they come on a part time basis to assist with whatever we need help with, from building to cleaning. No job is too big for these two guys. This is Odwa on the platform, Sidney, our education officer in the sunglasses, and Sinethemba in the olive green shirt.


We did a lot of other work and we even got to look at all the hospital camps and trimmed the grass nicely, Odwa in action here with the bush cutters donated by our supporters.


Leopard triplets, found as motherless cubs in Sudan.  Arrived Shamwari July 2001

Will and Sami

We had Will Travers visiting us and he had a walk around our centres, discussed and planned the way forward for our centres and a possibility of homing more cats here. So here is a rare moment that I stole with my mobile of Will and Sami, while Will was looking around at the JW Centre.

Nimira and Alam

Here Nimira and Alam play fighting not far from Will, they were just enjoying the good rainy weather and being leopards

I had to share this video of the triplets, we just had cleaned the indoor houses and we let them have access to the hospital camp as it was hot on that day. So, they came in sniffing and spraying and marking everywhere. Then when they got inside the little house, they started to roll around and slept on the cool, damp floor and sniffing each corner of the house. 

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

Sinbad and Achee

Achee and Sinbad are really getting along, here is Sinbad grooming Achee and drooling all over her.  Other than that they are good with each other and enjoy being together.   Sinbad does have a rash on his lower back that keeps on coming back, our vet is on top of this and hoping to put an end to it soon.

Brutus and Marina.  Brutus was rescued from a French circus and Marina rescued as a cub from Romania.  Both arrived at Shamwari in April 2008

Brutus and Marina

Brutus and Marina still as loving as ever.  They are not easy to make out in the dappled shade here.

Jean Byrd Centre Diary >

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

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