Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Jean Byrd Centre Blog

Written by Headman Matyumza and Kelvin Buys

June 2017

Shamwari Conservation Experience students are a great help
Shamwari Conservation Experience students are a great help

Hello everyone

A warm greeting from us and the lions and leopards at the Jean Byrd Centre. It has been a very cold month.  We see our cats, nearly every day day at the back of the camps, catching the sun on the hillside, and having the protection of the bushes. It is quiet here with the winter program still in progress, but we had some guests, and the students from the Shamwari Conservation Experience helped us the clean the centre, the garden and all our camps. Sometimes we need to go to the south of the reserve, to help the team at our Julie Ward Centre with preparing meat for our cats.


Shada, rescued from a French circus in November 2006

Shada
Shada

Shada is doing good, and, as ever, she always gets excited to receive her food. We always know by Shada’s behaviour when the wild lions are close to our perimeter fence line, so we think of her as our little alarm for danger. We will see her crouching, with a fixed stare, facing in their direction.  She is still very active, spends most of her time close to the viewing deck, so this makes it easy for us when we want to check up on her.  At 20 years old, the lady is getting on in age but still strong!

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

Jora, left, and Black
Jora, left, and Black

The brothers are doing very well, and they quite active. They really enjoy their food and always eat in a different spot.  They spend most of their time in the main camp where there’s plenty of bushes to hide from the cold weather. These boys they love each other very much, the bond they have is amazing. Some mornings they will roar when our guests arrive, and then other cats they will respond.

Queen was used for breeding on a lion farm, before being taken in at Shamwari’s sister reserve, Sanbona.  She arrived Shamwari April 2015

Queen
Queen

She is doing well and she so beautiful; our guests will often say they think she looks like a polar bear. She likes to spend her time sitting behind her shelter, and will roar from there while looking at her neighbours, especially Jora and Black.  Sometimes she canbe seen on top of her shelter.  One of her things is that she doesn’t like to be disturbed when she is eating!  She makes her displeasure clear, so we make sure she has her privacy.

Leda and her daughter Rhea, the leopards.  Rescued from Limassol Zoo in Cyprus and arrived Shamwari June 2009

Leda
Leda
Rhea
Rhea

Led and Rhea are doing very well, and taking their food very well. Leda is in a good condition, she is still active for an old lady, and she loves to spend her times on the roof of her platform, minding her business and surveying all around her from her vantage point.  Sometimes she will lie behind her shelter where she can enjoy the heat of the sun but with a bit more protection.

Rhea, the daughter, likes to chill on top of her shelter in the main camp looking at Ciam, the lion who arrived last month.  Sometimes she will come down to the hospital camp, climb on top of her ‘dog kennel’ as we call their little houses, and lie on her back.

Ciam, rescued from a private home in France.  He arrived at Shamwari in May 2017

The young boy is great, he is settled in after his arrival last month and seems to be growing well.  He is friendly and is often seen close our guests’ viewing deck, and will accompany us on our fence checks.  Sometimes he uses the trees to strengthen his claws, rubbing his head against the stem of the tree. He takes his food very well when he has a full tummy, he will go and rest under a tree next to the water trough. He is still seen stalking the leopards, Leda and Rhea, in the next door camp, but they seem used to him now.

Ciam on his temporary shelter which he has already started to destroy
Ciam on his temporary shelter which he has already started to destroy
Ciam
Ciam
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906


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