Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

The Jean Byrd Blog

September 2017

Written by Headman Matyumza and Kelvin Buys

Headman working in Shada’s enclosure – while Shada is safely shut in her hospital camp!
Headman working in Shada’s enclosure – while Shada is safely shut in her hospital camp!

Hello everyone

We hope that you guys are good, it’s great our side. It’s been a busy month with a lot of guests coming in from Shamwari and students from Shamwari’s volunteer program. We had a visit from Born Free consultant Cheryl Mvula, what a nice lady. This month we were missing one of our regular visitors, the wild elephant who calls by, but we are not complaining because our garden stays tidier for longer! 

Everywhere is becoming very green because we are having some rain.

Some days we go to help the team down south at the Julie Ward Centre, to do some meat preparation for feeding our cats.  It is good to catch up with the rest of the team then. 

OUR RESCUED LIONS AND LEOPARDS

Ciam – confiscated from a private owner in France. 

He arrived at Shamwari May 2017

Ciam
Ciam
Ciam – hasn’t he grown in the five months he has been here?
Ciam – hasn’t he grown in the five months he has been here?

Ciam is doing great and is growing big. We noticed that his mane has loosened up and he is also growing some black hair in it. Ciam is not stalking the leopards anymore, we think he got used to his neighbours. He is often seen on top of his platform in the morning and later when the sun heats up he goes to lay down under a tree close to the water trough. He is in good shape.

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

Leda on the move
Leda on the move

Leda is doing good.  She is often seen in the main camp in the corner close to the viewing deck, or hiding in her shelter when it rains.  Other days we find her on top of her platform looking over the reserve.

We make sure that we see her every day, if not in the morning then just before we leave. Our lady is doing great but we know that she is very old, so we monitor her closely.  She is eating very well and still very active and to us that means she is still going strong.

Rhea
Rhea

Rhea is often seen in her main camp.  She has a tree that is like an umbrella that gives her nice shade. She spends time in her hospital camp as well, especially when eating.   We’ve noticed that she eats all her meals in the hospital camp now, that makes it very easy for us at cleaning time.  We’ve noticed that she goes into her hospital camp when she can see her mom in hers and then she would stand up against the gate of the hospital camp looking towards Leda.  They used to live together in the zoo, but they became very territorial here once they had all the space at Shamwari, and it doesn’t seem a friendly interest when Rhea studies her mum!

Queen, an ex-breeding farm lion.  She arrived at Shamwari in April 2015

Our girl is doing great and she is just beautiful. She is often seen close to the platform of Kuma, our late leopard, rest his soul, when this was his camp, and on a lot of days we see her close to the hospital camp where there is an overhanging tree that makes shade for her when it’s very hot. She eats her meat well and she is very active.  A regular comment made by our guests is that she looks like a polar bear and they just love her. She still communicates with Jora and Black next door.  We really would like to know what they are saying but unfortunately we don’t understand the language.

Queen
Queen

Jora and Black.  These two brothers were rescued from a closed-down circus in Bulgaria when wild animals in circuses became illegal in Bulgaria in 2015.  They arrived at Shamwari in September 2015

Our sons are doing fantastic. The boys love to play with each other and patrol the main camp together, they are never far apart. We always admire the bond that they have. Jora and Black show us that they are cats indeed because when it rains they are rarely out of the shelter in the main camp, and we all know that cats never want to be wet. Sunny days they choose a spot behind the hospital camp where there is a lot of shade. They eat they food very well and it makes us happy because we think that shows that they in good shape. Feeding time, we separate them and make turns for the one shut in the hospital camp, so sometimes we let Jora go in first and Black remains in the main camp, and then on other times it is the other way round.

Jora and Black playing in the rain. So unlike them to be out in the rain!
Jora and Black playing in the rain. So unlike them to be out in the rain!

Shada, rescued from a French circus in November 2006

Shada is doing good.  She is usually in her main camp under a tree close to the viewing deck and at feeding times she comes into her hospital camp. She eats her food very well and our guest are surprised when we tell them that she has only three canine teeth and that she has no claws on her front paws, probably removed in the circus.  She sometimes jumps on top of shelter and enjoys the heat of the sun.  Some mornings she joins in the conversation when the roaring begins. So, although she is thought to be 20 years old she is still pushing strong.

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


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