Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Jean Byrd Centre - October 2010

Compiled by Martin Miritiawo, Animal Care Assistant


This month has been good.  All has been well while I was on Annual Leave; the  only worry came when Marina fell sick on the 8th of October.  See below.  Many thanks to Headman who noticed the changes in Marina instantly and reported to them to Glen, our Animal Care Manager.

Brutus, a lion rescued from a French circus, and Marina found abandoned in Romania.

Headman noticed that Marina was not eating, and rolling on her back, so he reported this to Glen, who alerted our vets.  She was darted and taken to Amanzi our veterinary centre and blood taken for a smear, which did not reveal anything unusual, I understand, and she was put on a drip.  The vets opened her up and found a big hair-ball / piece of skin.   She had to spend a few days at Amanzi, then came back here and was confined to her hospital camp for a while.  Brutus stayed outside, wanting her to join him again.  She is doing so well now, it is hard to believe she was sick; she is just herself as normal as we know her, always excited and curious. She always follows us during the fence check, running back and forth. From what we are observing at the moment she is making tremendous progress; she is taking her food very well, drinking a lot of water and also excreting okay.

In the morning when it’s a bit cool Brutus and Marina like to sit close to the fence near the viewing deck, but when it gets warmer they move inwards to hide themselves under the bushes.

They really like each other and when we have to put Marina inside the hospital camp (during feeding, to stop Brutus stealing her food) Brutus doesn’t go far but sticks around until we let her out the following morning.   When she gets out she would run to him, leaping at him, showing him how she missed him.

Marina - photo Glen Vena/BFF
Marina recovering after her operation
Brutus and Marina, happy together

Kuma the leopard, rescued from Abijan Zoo, Ivory Coast

Kuma is doing well, always hiding himself at the top of his camp avoiding the heat of the day. He normally comes down when he is marking his territory and to get his food. He also likes to show off when there are a lot of people around, especially early in the morning when it is not too hot. He will then come walking slowly past the front of the deck showing people that he is the one in charge. He is really adorable, many guests talk about Kuma.

When we were busy cleaning Kuma’s hospital camp one day this month we discovered a pipe leaking besides the water trough.  I would like to thank Sidney and Glen who came to help Headman and myself to fix the leaking pipe which was affecting the smooth flow of water into the water troughs; well done guys we appreciate your support.

Photo Martin Miritiawo/BFF

Sidney, Glen and Headman working on the damaged pipe in Kuma’s hospital camp; and me the cameraman

Shada, the lioness rescued from a French circus

She spends most of her time sleeping either at the bottom corner or at the top of her camp under the trees especially when it’s hot. She normally likes to stalk Brutus and Marina in the late afternoon when the sun sets. And she would start roaring and the others will join in.  She likes her meals very much, every time we feed, she takes her food and hides it in the bushes to enjoy later. She also has a habit of following the vehicle and when it’s gone that’s when she goes to eat the food.

She looks a lot happier and more relaxed in the main camp than when in the hospital camp, which is where we had to put her while we were cleaning out her camp. The picture below was taken soon after we released her from the hospital camp.

Photo BFF/
Shada, happier in her main camp

Leda and her daughters Roxanne and Rhea - The leopards rescued from Limassol Zoo

Rhea’s behavior is now not that aggressive like before.  She is much more relaxed with us.  Sometime towards the end of this month, when I was looking for her during my fence check, she came towards me and sat on top of the kennel looking at me, and she ended up sleeping there.

Roxanne her sister is still a bit reserved, she doesn’t come out all the time, she hides herself behind the bushes and only to comes towards us when we give her food. She waits behind a bush close to the gate waiting for us to poke her meat in and when she gets it she goes either inside the kennel or inside the bushes.

Leda - she seems to enjoy herself in the main camp and she is using the whole camp: sometimes I see her at the top and on the jungle gym and inside the shelter.  And the other times when she has her moments she follows us. She also likes to hang around the hospital camps seeing what her daughters are doing and when she walks close to them she raises her tail, showing her confidence.

Photo BFF/Shamwari
Leda in the main camp
Photo BFF/Shamwari
Roxanne in hosp camp 3
Photo BFF/Shamwari
Rhea in camp 2

Jools and Jerry, the lions rescued from Buhusi Zoo in Romania

Jools and Jerry are doing fine although Jools’ skin is showing a few spots close to the neck and shoulder – she seems to have an allergy, but it’s not bad as it was last time.  She is eating her food well; upon receiving the meat she runs to the bushes without turning back.

Jerry gets fascinated by the leopards. He will come and sit close to the fence observing every movement they make.

In the mornings and evenings I hear their powerful roaring. During the day they hide themselves from the heat of the sun in the bushes in the enclosure.

Jools and Jerry are the same always, relaxed and calm. 

Photo BFF/Shamwari
Jools and Jerry – mother and son together
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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