Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Jean Byrd Centre June 2010

Report by Martin Miritiawo


Shada is our lioness rescued from a French circus.  In the beginning of this month and towards the end of the last mo nth Shada had been off her food a little.  Not for long, just for a few days. But as time went on she went back to her normal eating habits. We had been feeding some game meat at that time, so perhaps she didn’t like it at first.  Now it is one of her favourites.   During this winter weather she spends most of her time out in the open at the bottom right corner of the camp, sometimes stalking warthogs which graze outside. It’s very rare for her these days to go up the top of her camp for a long time.

As usual, she becomes so excited when she sees a vehicle bringing meat, she will run alongside the vehicle wanting her food.

Shada, relaxed, not far from her water trough

Brutus and Marina

Brutus was rescued from a French circus and Marina was found abandoned as a cub in Romania.  They spend most of their time together, either playing or lying together. They like each other, there is no fighting between them. Brutus is not as curious as Marina, he likes to observe from a distance and spends most of his time sleeping close to the visitors’ viewing platform or close to the water trough and sometimes inside the shelter especially when it's raining- he doesn’t like to get wet. He does exercise when playing with Marina and when he sees a vehicle coming he will run from corner to corner, wanting to get his food. His favourite eating spot is by the water trough; he always takes his meat and eats it there. Whenever Marina is in the hospital camp, for example when shut in for feeding, to stop Brutus stealing her meat, Brutus will come and sit close by her, waiting for us to let her out.

Marina is so energetic and full of life. It’s so wonderful to see her happy all the time. If she sees us walking along the fence she can’t sit back and observe, she will be tempted to come and find out what we are doing. She would follow us right round the camp with excitement. Stalking birds is also one of her favourite games, she likes running after them. Just lately she has not been washing the soil off her meat in the trough, which is a relief for those of us who have to clean the troughs out afterwards! 

What a boy. Here he is marking his turf!


Kuma is our hand-reared leopard rescued from Ivory Coast.  Since Kuma returned from our vet centre at Amanzi he is doing better each day. (He had fractured a bone in his ‘ankle’.)  We have seen a lot of changes in him. He is using his leg especially when he walks, but the moment he starts running he will end up lifting it again. But that doesn’t stop him from moving around the camp marking his territory. During the middle of the month, I think on the 13th, I walked with Kuma. He followed me from his hospital camp to the viewing deck and from there going back again. I was so excited to see him walking on all four legs.  He wasn’t limping at all.

kuma - photo G. Vena
He looks good, and he is starting to use all four of his legs now. We keep on telling him to take it easy!

Leda, Roxanne and Rhea

This leopard family, Mum Leda and her two daughters, were rescued from Limassol Zoo in Cyprus.

Rhea: Lately Rhea has been behaving less aggressively at feed times.  She doesn’t leap at the fence like she used to do before. She is also showing signs of being in season by rolling on her back on the ground and squirming a lot.

Roxanni:  She is always calm, no aggression when we poke the meat through the gate. She has been also showing signs of being in season, rubbing herself against the fence as well as on the ground.  She seems not to like the presence of her mother Leda when Leda comes close to her hospital camp; Roxanni then bares her teeth and shows some aggression towards her and sometimes towards her sister next door.

Leda: She seems to enjoy being in the main camp alone, going wherever she wants to go. She does pay visits to her daughters: sometimes I see her sitting by Rhea’s fence.

Stalking and following us during the fence check is one of Leda’s favourite things to do. She likes doing it secretly, using the bushes for cover, so as not to be noticed that she is following.

Jools and Jerry

Jools and her son Jerry were rescued from a zoo in Romania.  Jools’ skin is looking much better these days.  She likes to be in the sun especially in the afternoon sleeping together with Jerry, they enjoy this so much. They never leave each other, we always see them together, no fighting over food. They like to sleep on top of the shelter in their hospital camp.

Jerry sometimes doesn’t want people to be close to him especially when he has got food, he becomes very protective.


The Julie Ward Centre Cats >

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

Share | |