Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Jean Byrd Centre Big Cat Diary September 2012

Written by Martin Miritiawo


I had a wonderful time with students from Wild Reach. They had a presentation conducted by their founding member whereby learners will identify a certain animal and get a reward if get it right. We also discussed nature conservation and had a game drive. Look who we encountered in the bush.

Here is Sindile, a wild leopard at Shamwari.  She is used to our vehicles as she has been tracked for the last eight years.


The Rankines, Born Free Foundation supporters, also came to visit us at the Jean Byrd Centre. They are Kuma and Shada’s adoptive parents and they were so happy to see Kuma for the first time. I still remember last time they came here - Kuma was hiding.


Kuma, rescued from Abidjan Zoo, Ivory Coast, in 1999

Glen and I walked round his enclosure, hoping we could spot him, so we could point him out to his adoptive parents, Susan and Derek Rankine.  Initially Kuma was not interested coming down, but later on he decided to show himself.

Shada, rescued from a French circus in 2006

She is doing well as usual.  When she saw us with the Rankines she came out of her bushes in the middle of her camp, and walked over to where we were standing.  It was an awesome experience for the Rankines to see her at such close range.

22 year old Leda, looking amazing.

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

Leda and Rhea are doing well; we get to see Leda almost on a daily basis. Sometimes we get worried about her because of her age but she is thriving.
Rhea is also fine though she likes to hide herself most of the time. Both girls are taking their food well and enjoying their privacy.

Jools and her son Jerry, rescued from Buhusi Zoo in Romania, in 2007

Mother and son are looking good, always together. They spend most of their time at the bottom of the hill, sleeping.

To catch up with all the goings on at the Julie Ward Centre click here.

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

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