Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Julie Ward Centre Diary

Written by Martin Miritiawo, Animal Care Assistant

October 2016

OUR RESCUED LIONS AND LEOPARDS

Brutus and Marina – Brutus was rescued from a French circus and Marina was rescued as a cub from Romania.  Both arrived Shamwari April 2008

Brutus is a bit lame so he was darted on 4th October and taken to the animal clinic at Amanzi to be Xrayed by our expert veterinary team.  We were suspecting that it could be a thorn or a claw growing inside his paw, but nothing has been found so far, maybe it’s a muscle sprain.  Medication was administered. He is still not 100%, but he seems to take each day as it comes and Marina is always there for him.

Marina is doing well and very friendly as usual, but very naughty too. We are changing her water more regularly in the hospital camp as she washes her meat in the water trough each time she gets food. She used to scoop out water, but not anymore, she just dips the meat in and takes it out.

Brutus and Marina in the main camp, Marina showing affection.
Brutus and Marina in the main camp, Marina showing affection

The leopard triplets, Sami, Alam and Nimira, found motherless in Sudan.  They arrived at Shamwari July 2001

The triplets are doing well and spending most the day resting, usually draped on their ‘jungle gym’ or lying in the undergrowth. I took the picture of Nimira draped along thick tree limbs in an effort to escape the midday heat, with her back and tail sticking out; behind is her brother Alam lying on the jungle gym.

The boys Sami and Alam advertise their territory by marking with urine and faeces and clawing the bark of trees and are always together, nevertheless they both have strong caring bonds towards their sister.

Nimira
Nimira
Sami and Alam in the main camp.
Sami and Alam in the main camp.

Jerry, Maggie and Sonja.  Jerry was rescued from Buhusi Zoo in Romania and arrived Shamwari in August 2007; Maggie and Sonja were rescued from a German circus and arrived Shamwari in January 2015

The bond between Jerry and the girls is wonderful to see.  They seem very happy together.  The platform is one of the girls’ favourite spot, they use it a lot.  I haven’t seen Jerry on it, he just rubs himself under it, maybe he is scared of heights. 

Jerry in front, Sonja in the middle then Maggie
Jerry in front, Sonja in the middle then Maggie

Achee, rehomed from a private owner in Romania in September 2004,  and Sinbad, rescued from a Romanian zoo in August 2007.

Achee and Sinbad are doing well, but Sinbad still has his mood swings. One minute he likes Achee and the next he ignores her, he growls at her and sometime they fight when she gets close to him. It’s difficult to understand what goes on in his head. Achee is a sweetheart she really likes him even after a brawl.  She goes away, but immediately she comes back and lies close to him.

Sinbad and Achee
Sinbad and Achee
Sinbad
Sinbad

OTHER NEWS FROM MARTIN AND GLEN

Students from SCE with buckets after cleaning Maggie, Sonja and Jerry’s enclosure
Students from SCE with buckets after cleaning Maggie, Sonja and Jerry’s enclosure

It has been such a productive and busy month.  I had a group of Shamwari Conservation Experience volunteers who were getting more hands on, cleaning the enclosures. I had approximately three hours in duration with the students, which includes an introductory talk about Born Free followed by cleaning enclosures and a walk around our Julie Ward Centre.

Glen left for his annual leave after first week of the month and he will be back month end, but before he left we all had an opportunity meet our CEO (Will Travers). He is a passionate wildlife expert and his work inspires people to care about wildlife and the environment.

Glen: thank you Martin for taking all the extra duties on, job well-done, I truly missed you all and it is so good to be back.

Yes, I got to spend a few hours with Will and drove him back to the airport just before I went on leave for a few weeks.  We got to talk about some improvements that need to be done and look at our office set-up.  We took a walk around the centres spending time with our rescued cats, observing them in the African home that is way better than the circumstances they were rescued from.   

A lesson to all: no animal should be kept in such horrendous conditions and that all animals belong in the wild, not in circuses, not in oceanariums, not in zoos even though they say they are being protected from extinction.  We should be protecting them in their natural habitats all around the world and keeping them wild for ever the way it was intended.  So, the brief meeting that we had with Will in our centre, well it was more like a little pow wow and to meet the gang. Will had just been in Johannesburg at the CITES meeting on international trade in wildlife.  The information we got from him was fascinating.  For more info on that you must read his blog on the BFF Web site.

Below is a picture/selfie taken by Catherine Gillson at our main Lodge Long Lee Manor.

Will, Catherine, Claire (Shamwari Social Media Co-ordinator) and Glen
Will, Catherine, Claire (Shamwari Social Media Co-ordinator) and Glen
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906


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