Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Big Cat Diary September 2016

Jean Byrd Centre Blog 
Written by Headman Matyumza and Kelvin Buys, Animal Care Officers
September 2016

Hello all, here is news of our rescued lions and leopards.

Shada, rescued from a French circus in November 2006

Our girl is doing great. She is a big strong lioness who loves having her own space. We do see her sometimes up in the bushes relaxing, then we know it’s a day that she wants to be left alone.   

She used to love hanging out at a particular corner of her enclosure, but ever since Jora and Black arrived at the next door camp, she can often be seen close to the fence, monitoring the edge of her territory.


Black and Jora, rescued from a Bulgarian circus.  Arrived Shamwari September 2015

These two brothers have been here exactly a year and they are doing fantastic.  

They just love each other and are always together. Black looks so cool with his dark mane, although Jora’s ‘ is starting to grow darker too. They are very strong and love to test each, play fighting.  The way these boys eat is good, and they don’t let any food go to waste.   

Black and Jora

Leda and her daughter Rhea, rescued from Limassol Zoo in Cyprus in June 2009 

Leda doesn’t like to get too hot.  She is often to be seen in the hospital camp, hiding in her wooden box away from the heat of the sun. Even at feeding time she will grab her food and take it into her shelter, it is her eating/favourite spot these days. In the afternoons she can be seen on her platform, lying on her back, legs up on the air.  She is clearly visible to our guests then, which is a treat for them.  


Rhea is doing very well and taking her food well. When she sees her mum in the adjoining camp, she will sometimes pace up and down in her hospital camp, standing with her front legs on the gate that separates them, staring intently.  Leopards are very territorial and we need to keep them apart. 



Jabulani and Queen were transferred from our Julie Ward Centre on 29th of this month, and we hope they will do well in the more open habitat here.  For three days they stayed at the top of the hill in their hospital camp, probably confused by the new surroundings but then they settled in and started to explore the whole camp.  They seem to love their new home and are often to be seen close to our visitor’s viewing decks.  They seem in good condition for rather middle aged to elderly lions (Queen is 19 years old and Jabu was 15 years old this month) and we plan to keep them in good condition for as long as we can.   

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

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