Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Jean Byrd Centre Diary for September 2010

Report by Glen Vena

Animal Care Manager


Martin is on leave and he went to visit his family in Zimbabwe. He is missed, he will be returning on the 24th October and he will be at work on the 25th October and in the meantime Headman is all by himself at the Jean Byrd centre keeping the fort!  Headman is doing a enormous job, it is not easy all by yourself.

The cats look great at JB Centre!

Shada - The lioness rescued from a French  circus.

She looks great, very relaxed. This morning when I went to check on her she was so deeply asleep I got worried, she was not even moving.   I pulled myself together and walked up to her. I was about 3m from her then I think she heard my footsteps on the dry grass,  crunching!   She jumped up looking at me very surprised! I was relieved! She is a big lioness but she is very flexible and fast!

She still loves her food, although very picky sometimes; she loves to smell her food before she eats it. She is good.

What I have noted she likes to spend most of her time to the right of her camp closer to the visitor’s viewing deck, looking at impalas and warthogs.  She will sometimes run up and down the fence, wanting to get to them.  If she is not doing that she would be at the back of her camp by those big trees.

During feeding she likes to run with the Land Rover too and try to out-run Marina and Brutus next door.

See pictures below of Shada

  • Shada - photo Glen Vena
  • Shada - photo Glen Vena

Kuma - Our leopard rescued from Ivory Coast

He is good too. He has recovered very nicely, he is know walking on all four paws, however he still lifts the leg that had the fracture up when he is running really fast.

The other day it was so extraordinary how he came out of nowhere to surprise the guests who where looking for him. He emerged out of the bushes like a wild leopard, very proud of himself, looking up straight and his tail straight up in the air and just walked proudly past the deck. I was speechless!

Then a screaming noise got his attention out on the main reserve. It was a troop of baboons walking by on the hills; maybe he knew instinctively that they might make a meal for him, if he was in the wild. Eish who knows.

See pictures of Kuma below

  • Photo - Glen Vena/BFF/Shamwari

Brutus and Marina - Brutus was rescued from a French circus, and Marina and her late sister Sarnia, were found abandoned in Romania.

I think they look lovely, well Brutus has got a bit round around the belly, but I am working on that! They have a very nice bond,  Brutus is very caring and gentle with her.  Since her sister Sarnia passed away, Marina has not been in season and Brutus has backed off too, he has not been chasing her around trying to get her into season.

We still separate them when we feed them. Mainly because Marina eats so fast and she would just swallow her food in big bits. I try to give her bony bits as she will take her time then, but it is not possible always to do so.

Well, Brutus he takes time with everything, he would take his food down to  the water troughto dunk it in a few times and start to eat;  Marina too she does this, especially after Martin and Headman have just cleaned the water trough!!! I always have a laugh about this.

Photo Glen Vena/BFF/Shamwari
Brutus and Marina - I took this picture with my mobile a few months back, I came across it while going through some old stuff. Brutus is really sweet, I love the paws!

Leda, Roxani and Rhea - The leopard family we rescued from Limassol.

They are good, Leda the mum is still in the main camp, she looks good and very relaxed, she does spend most of her time looking at Kuma, however there is no pacing from her side, she would just sit there and look at him, well Kuma too will not do anything.

The girls are both in separate hosp camps, they good too, they often show their teeth in a snarl at the mum, especially Rhea. I have not put them together for a while now as I am not sure what will happen. I’m awaiting Vet orders on that one. They good otherwise

Leda under a bush keeping cool, she looks great I think
This is Rhea, I got her sleeping, sunning herself, not far from her kennel
Here is Roxanni, hiding in the bush

Jerry and Jools - The lions we rescued from Romania

Jerry is a very handsome lion and his mum Jools is very protective over him. They use all of their camp, which is great. For them it depends on the weather, if too warm you will not even see them, they will both find the coolest bush and just be there.

Jools skin gets infected now and then. It would look like some big rain drops had fallen on her, it comes and goes. The Vets have put her on medication and it worked, I have told them about this again, and will observe in the meantime.

jools and jerry - Glen Vena/bff
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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