Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Jean Byrd Centre cats

Brutus, Sarnia and Marina:

Since the beginning of November the bond between Brutus, Sarnia and Marina has become more well established than before. Brutus has been seen mating with the girls lately. During this time I observed that Brutus didn’t want the girls to be together and he was successful in separating them for 4 - 5 days.

However a lot of changes happened to Brutus, he used lie alone most of the time, but these days he is glued to the girls and the girls like him too. It’s really wonderful to see them relaxing together and grooming one another.

The girls are very sweet in hot weather, they scoop the water in the water trough, splashing some of it on themselves to keep their bodies cool in the unforgiving heat of the day.

Maturity is also showing in the girls, they used to be playful and come to the viewing deck whenever guests approached, but these days they don’t just run around without a specific reason and they are proving to be big girls.

The day that GMTV filmed at the centre, they seemed to really love all that attention. We usually feed the girls separately in the hospital camps, as Marina will steal the food, but we thought for filming it would work if we threw the meat well apart in the main camp. But no, Marina was quick and took charge of both portions of food and left Sarnia with nothing; afterwards we gave her something just to make her happy too.

See pictures below of Brutus and girls, relaxing, it is really clear to us who is the king of the castle here.

photo Glen Vena / BFF Shamwari


Shada spends most of her time at the top of her camp sleeping; she only comes down during feeding. These days she is not interested in playing and pacing with Brutus and the girls. She prefers stalking the warthogs outside on the other side of the camp.

In the mornings and evenings I hear her powerful roaring. During the day she hides herself from the heat of the sun in the thick bushes in her enclosure.

She is eating her food well; although she doesn’t it eat upon receiving it. She prefers to eat later when it’s cool.

See picture below of Shada:

Shada - Photo Glen Vena / BFF Shamwari


Kuma started to show signs of lameness on his left front and hind leg back in October. We put him on some anti-inflammatory tablets and he is showing some signs of recovery from his limping although he is not 100% yet.

Kuma seems to be excited when there are a lot of guests are around. He will come down from the top of the camp and move around the viewing deck area marking his territory. The guest love it and say he looks stunning.

Kuma - Photo Glen Vena / BFF Shamwari

Leda, Roxanne and Rhea

A lot of changes in the behaviour of Roxanne are being shown these days. She wants to be the dominant one. She has been chasing her mum, Leda, when they are both in the main camp together. Rhea has got a wound on the tail; we are thinking that Roxanne might be responsible for that too.

Our vets gave us some antibiotics and the antiseptic solution to administer for Rhea and they are also regularly coming to check on her. We have put her in one section of the hospital camp so we can treat her. We hope it’s just a phase with Roxanni which will pass as time goes on, but we wondered if they would start showing territorial behaviour once they were out of the cramped conditions of the zoo.

Leda has two sections of the hospital camp to give her a break from Roxanni,
with Rhea next door and both are like the same always, relaxed and calm.
Although they are in the hospital camps for some time you will never see
them pacing.

Here is a picture of Rhea and Roxanni on better days:

Photo Glen Vena / BFF Shamwari
Photo - Martin Miritiawo, our Animal Care Assistant
Rhea (foreground) and Roxanni

Jools and Jerry

At the beginning of this month, we noticed Jools’ skin complaint has slowly started coming back, and as the antibiotics worked well last time we put her back on them. She has the tablets in small pieces of food twice a day.

Jerry is looking good he is also getting a little food twice a day just to make him happy and to avoid confrontation with the mother. They both wait to get something in the morning and afternoon. The bond between the two is very special, the boy has so much respect for the mother. He gives first preference to the mother during feeding time.

Here is a picture of Jools and Jerry:

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

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