Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Jean Byrd Centre Blog

January 2017

Written by Headman Matyumza and Kelvin Buys

A warm greeting from us and the cats. The month of January was great, we loved the rain  and it was nice seeing everything starting to look green.  We also loved seeing Shamwari’s two wild male lions from the north of the reserve, so close to our Jean Byrd Centre.  We had a lot of fantastic guests and fantastic Born Free supporters who loved what we are doing with our big cats. 

Leda and her daughter Rhea, rescued from Limassol Zoo in Cyprus in June 2009

Rhea is doing great, she loves to sit on top of her shelter and sometimes I would see her sleeping in her kennel in the hospital camp. She eats her meat very well, all her teeth are still fine so she is still going strong. Rhea is always shy when I come too close, she tries to hide in her shelter for me not to see her.

Leda the Leopard

Queen and Jabulani, ex breeding farm lions.  They arrived at Shamwari in April 2015

Queen and Jabulani are doing fantastic. We see them a lot now at the top of the main camp under a thorn tree, and they are always close to each other.  I must say they have a great bond, they’ll never be too long apart.

Queen and Jubilani
Jabulani and Queen

Brothers Jora and Black, rescued from a closed-down circus in Bulgaria.  They arrived at Shamwari September 2015

Jora and Black are becoming big boys now, they eat very healthily.  When we feed them, we also make sure that their water is clean and all left over bones are removed from the camps. It’s becoming very hot so we must make sure we change the water of all of our cats regularly. One day when I did my checks I saw something really funny, Black was literarily sleeping on top of Jora and his brother just let him. I’ll try to get a picture next time!

Jora and Black
Black (left) and Jora

Shada, rescued from a French circus in November 2006

Shada had us worried for a while one day in January.  While I was doing my checks I noticed that something was not looking good with her so when I got a closer look, I saw that her eyes were blue and big and that she can’t see.  I called Glen, our Animal care manager and he got a hold of our vet Johan. I knew then that our girl was in good hands and I could relax.  It was also good to see she found her way to the water trough.

Her vision returned after two days and she is eating well.  We don’t know what caused her ‘sudden onset blindness’ but we will keep observing her. We see her now looking as strong as before and that makes us very happy.

Julie Ward Centre Diary >

This how her eyes looked
This how her eyes looked
This how she is now. She looks good.
This how she is now. She looks good.
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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