Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

The Jean Byrd Centre Blog

February 2017

Written by Headman Matyumza and Kelvin Buys, Animal Care Assistants

It’s been a great month: our old friend Wonka the elephant came to visit again and we had some Born Free supporters come to visit us too.  This included veteran supporters Martin and Angela Humphrey, and Sally and Richard Parne.  I must say they are very lovely people and they really seemed to enjoy the time they spent with us.  We also had a lot of students, and we were blessed to have Mr. Will Travers and Chris Draper visit us from our BFF UK Head Office. Our Center is still shipshape and our garden is also looking good, and we keep our camps clean, so we could feel proud to show everyone around.

BFF Supporters Martin and Angela Humphry with Catherine and Glen

Shada, rescued from a French circus and arrived at Shamwari 2006


Our girl is her old self again, after our scare with her mysterious ‘sudden onset blindness which lasted for three days last month.  We see her a lot in the morning close to the water trough in her main enclosure and in the afternoon, she would go sleep in the bushes up top of her main camp. We don’t see anything wrong with her now, and can’t explain still why she had a temporary blindness. We keep a close eye on all our cats so we can report anything that’s out of the ordinary.

Black and Jora, rescued from a Bulgarian Circus, when travelling circuses with wild animals were banned in the country.  Arrived Shamwari September 2015

The brothers are doing great. We still separate them when we feed and the reunion is always special.  It’s amazing to see how the boys love each other. They would play with each other as if they were apart for a long time. They have a great bond.  The guys are often seen at the front of their enclosure by the viewing deck, which is nice for our guests, but later they go to sleep under the trees at the top of the camp.

Black and Jora

Leda and her daughter Rhea.  Rescued from Limassol Zoo in Cyprus in June 2009


Leda - We were told that Leda was born in 1990, in Tel Aviv Zoo in Israel.  If that is correct, she will be 27 this year!  She looks very beautiful for her age and eats her meat very well. We see no signs of any illness so that makes us happy. Our guests love her and can’t believe it when we tell them her age, since she is looking great.  She enjoys being on her viewing deck and inside her shelter as well as under her favourite tree in the corner in front of the viewing deck.


Rhea - Rhea loves her main camp but when it’s very hot you’ll find her in her shelter in the hospital camp. All is good with her.  She always seems interested in the baboons that call in the mountains, then she would look intently in the direction where are calling from. She is now very relaxed with the white lions who are her neighbours.

Queen and Jabulani, originally from a lion breeding farm. Arrived Shamwari April 2015

They are doing great.  They spend most of their time in the main camp, sometimes under their platform or close to the water trough and later in the afternoon they would go sleep under a tree close to the hospital camp. We separate them when we feed them, as we are afraid that Jabu might take Queen’s meat so we feel it is better to make sure they get their share.

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

Share | |