Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild



I must say it has been a very difficult time just lately, after the death of Sarnia (Sarnia died on 25th January, following complications from an intestinal blockage.)  I really got emotional.  However, I had to be strong, stand up and move on but it was with the greatest difficulty.  They are not just lions and leopards to us here, they are family.


Leopard Triplets

We are still struggling to get their weight down.  It is hard, as Nimira has been speyed and her brothers castrated and perhaps it makes their metabolism slower.  They seem to survive on very little food!  We have reduced their food to 2.2kg each, three times a week.  They are doing very well though, and they love seeing our guests, and our guests love seeing them.

Aslan and Stella

They are doing very well too although Stella is showing her age.  We don’t see much of them.  They like their privacy.


He is the greatest! Most guests love him to bits too!  I still think he is lonely and could do with a partner, but with his physical problems I know this won’t be easy.  Fingers crossed we can find the right one for him.

Ma Juah and Achee

The girls are great and these days they spend more time in the hospital camp, just chilling out.  It is their favourite place.  I have to tempt them out of the hospital camp with food and shut the gate if I want to clean it out, rather than waiting until they are not around, and as soon as I open the gate they make themselves comfortable in there straight away.

Pitou and Siruis

Pitou is always out and about, but Sirius, he is more of a private person.  This makes it hard for us as we need to be able to see them every day, to check they are okay.  Fortunately they are good and healthy.


Report by Martin Miritiawo

Brutus, Sarnia and Marina

The month of January was a distressing month for all Born Free staff, members and supporters following the tragic death of Sarnia on the 25th. And for us here at the Jean Byrd centre things will never be the same without her. We loved her! We miss her so much.  Poor Marina, we grieve with you so much for the death of your sister but fortunately you bonded with Brutus and this will help to ease the loss.  In remembrance of her we planted a cabbage tree on her grave at Jean Byrd Centre.   Jayne le Cras, who helped look after Marina and Sarnia in Guernsey, was with us and it was an emotional time.  We will always cherish and remember Sarnia in a special and warm way. 

Brutus: Sarnia and Brutus were best buddies.  He was also there for Marina but most of the time I would see Brutus with Sarnia.  It’s so sad to both us and them, to lose her too soon. Brutus loved the girls he was so gentle with them, as he is now with Marina, he respects her so much. And they are always together comforting one another.

Marina: I have observed that Marina is more attached to us than she was when Sarnia was alive, although she was always the most interested in humans of the two sisters.  During the fence check Marina follows us all round the camp, which she was not normally doing before.  Every time we approach the camp it’s so hard for her just to sit back and watch, she wants to come and find out what we are up to. She gets excited with our presence. When it comes to eating her habits are still the same, she eats very well and still sometimes washes the sandy soil off her meat in the water trough before eating.


Shada is fine and taking her food very well, these days it’s so warm in the morning that Shada doesn’t want to come down the camp she prefers to be up in the trees, sleeping under cool shade. She only comes down during feeding and after sunset when it’s cool. She is also interested in a warthog which grazes along the camps. I see her stalking and chasing the warthog from inside, but this warthog is so stubborn he does not want to be intimidated and does not give up easily.


Kuma is still limping, his left back leg is giving him hard time, but he is taking it one day at a time. He still patrols his territory, scent-marking.   Kuma loves his food very much; he doesn’t hesitate to come all the way down to get it. During the day Kuma loves to be at the top of his enclosure where they are more trees to give him the cover that he needs.

Leda, Roxanni and Rhea

The sisters are still in the hospital camps and mum Leda is in the main camp. This gives her a break from being bullied by Roxanni.  Roxanni is still aggressive when taking her food, she doesn’t want people to be near her food. Rhea is not concerned about people; she doesn’t pay much attention to us. Leda will be sleeping most of the time, she only came out to get her food during feeding and she is looking strong and healthy, even though she is nearly 20 years old, which is elderly for a leopard.

Jools and Jerry

These two are happy always together and eat very well. In this hot weather though, Jerry doesn’t want to follow the vehicle during feeding time.  He takes his time leaving the shade to come and get his food.

February 2010


Report by Glen Vena, Animal Care Manager

Pitou and Sirius – the leopards who came from Monaco Zoo

There is still little sign of the male, Sirius.  We see a lot of Pitou though.  She loves to sit on her jungle gym and sun herself and do some stretches and sharpen her claws.  Food they love and they never waste any.

Sinbad – rescued from Bacau Zoo in Romani

We did have a few hot days which we are always worried about with him, as he took it hard last year.  However, although he always looks lethargic on hot days, like the rest of the cats, this little lion is adapting nicely.

Ma Juah and Achee - Ma Juah was rescued from a Liberian Zoo, and Achee from a private home in Romania.

For a change these lionesses have been in the main camp for the last two weeks and they did go and have a look at Sinbad, however there was no interaction between them. Sinbad’s eyes where very shiny and full of fire, the kind of look to show you that he is interested, but the girls just stared back at him.  Poor Sinbad.

Leopard Triplets - our leopards found motherless in the Sudan

Not much to say about Sami, Alam and Nimira, just that they are all well and lively as ever.

Aslan and Stella -Aslan and Stella were rescued from zoos in Greece.

One morning during my fence patrol, Aslan gave me such a fright!  I did not see him coming from behind me and he was so sneaky I didn’t even hear his approach.  Normally he growls and carries on like a very angry person! This time he was so focused on me, hmm makes you wonder what was going on in his head at that time.


Report by Martin Miritiawo, Animal Care Assistant

Brutus and Marina

Marina, rescued as a cub in Romania - This whole month was quiet, nothing much has been going on. Marina is adjusting well without her sister. She gets excited to see us.  She was hand-reared so she sees us as her pride I believe. Lately we saw her stalking a warthog grazing close to the enclosure.  As she advanced the warthog charged at her without fear. I think the warthog knew very well that there is nothing she can do to get to him.

Brutus, rescued from a French circus - He doesn’t move much, these hot days, and spends most of the time sleeping in a shade, but the moment he hears the sound of the Land Rover, which he knows might have food on board, no matter how hot he is, he doesn’t think twice to come out and investigate.

Shada – rescued from a French circus - In the morning Shada would come and sleep in front of the shade in the middle of her camp facing the viewing platform, but as it starts to get hot she would move to the top where there is more cover.  At sunset she would come and stalk the warthog which grazes in between the camps.

Kuma – rescued from Abidjan Zoo, Ivory Coast - Kuma has been darted to be X-rayed and have blood tests, but nothing has been found so far that shows what is causing him to limp.  Poor Kuma, he doesn’t trust anyone at the moment, even if we have a broom to wash the water trough, he thinks it’s a dart gun.  He still gets all over his camp, especially in the cooler parts of the day.

Leda, Roxanne and Rhea – leopards rescued from Limassol Zoo, Cyprus. The sisters are still in the hospital camp, so that mum can roam freely in the main camp.  We don’t see much of any of them at present; they are only active in the cool of the evening.

This is Leda, does she not look great! So sure of herself! (G. Vena)

Jools and Jerry – rescued from Buhusi Zoo, Romania - Jools caught a warthog! Two baby warthogs managed to get through the fence. One was chased by Jerry and was fast enough to escape, but I’m afraid the slow one will never compete again.

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

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