Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Jean Byrd Centre Nov 08 Pt 1

Kuma - photo BFF/Shamwari
Kuma - yawning!

Summary 1st - 13th November

1st November 2008

Temperature was 26ºC

Bongani - 8:15am

Brutus was sleeping near the fence close to the water trough, he went to drink water from the trough and went back to sleep a few centimetres from where he was earlier.
The cubs were sitting in front of the deck in the shade provided by two shrubby bushes.
I only heard Kuma from the centre of his enclosure but could not see him
Shada was at the centre of her camp sleeping Jools was sleeping under an acacia tree to the right of the viewing deck and only Jerry’s mane was visible further behind her.
Marina and Sarnia - I fed them at 12:30pm.Sarnia took the first piece but Marina went to her and they wrestled for a short while before Sarnia came back to me to get her own piece. They sat there chewing the bones and eating the meat off the bones.

I later on found Kuma sleeping next to the fence that runs alongside Shada’s camp, with Shada was on the other side watching him. It was long since I have seen Kuma sitting with Shada so close.  Unfortunately when I got closer Shada walked away and Kuma sat up but again went back to sleep shortly after my arrival.

2nd November 2008

Credit Maureen Adamson
The regal Shada

The temperature was about 23ºC

Bongani - 8:15am

Kuma – he was sleeping in his favourite spot at the centre of the enclosure.
The cubs were playing next to the fence when we got to them and they later on went to sit on the bottom left corner of their camp. While we were with Brutus’ camp they came over to drink some water.
Brutus – we saw him sleeping on the ditch in his main camp, facing upwards to the top of his camp.  He got up once as if he was listening to something and then went back to sleep again.
Jools – she was sleeping next to the shelter at the top of the main camp and Jerry - was not visible from the deck but later I found him sleeping under a bush.
Shada – she was also not visible from her deck then when we were on Kuma’s deck we saw her briefly walking from the centre of the camp to the thicket on the top right side of her camp and then she disappeared.

3rd November 2008

It was a bit windy in the morning, the temperature for the day was 21ºC

Bongani - Feeding

Brutus took a few steps with the meat in his mouth then decided to lick it for a few second before starting feeding on it.
We fed the cubs at the same time as the other adult lions; we gave them the heads of the cattle we were feeding with. The heads were a bit heavy but the cubs picked them up and ran away with them. We didn’t have much time to watch them feeding unfortunately, but we left them licking at these pieces of carcass.
Kuma - We gave him two pieces: some meat and some pieces of stomach.  He grabbed the meat, dragged it, and began to lick it. He was not really interested in the pieces of stomach; he smelt them and went back to the meat.
Shada – we gave her two portions of meat too. She took one and ran away with it but she didn’t return for the other one while we were with her.
Jools and Jerry - While we were busy feeding Jerry, Jools was pacing furiously next to the fence, watching us feeding her son. Jerry grabbed his meat and went to put it in the water trough and began drinking water from the trough. He again put the meat back in the trough and later on dragged it to the bush next to the water trough. Jools dragged her meat to a bush not too far from the fence and started feeding on it.

4th November 2008

Credit Glen Vena / BFF / Shamwari
Sarnia (l) and Marina - the cubs
Credit Glen Vena / BFF / Shamwari
Jerry and Jools on a windy day

There was a cold breeze early in the morning but at about 8:30 the breeze stopped and the temperature went up to about 25ºC for the day.


The cubs were sitting in the shade by the deck when I was patrolling in the morning. I was later walking with Abagail and we watched the cubs drinking water from the trough.

It was nothing unusual until we saw Sarnia sticking her head under the water, she came back to take a breath and went back down again. On the second occasion I noted that the level of the water went almost up to her forehead or close to her ears.  She came back with a piece of insulated wire in her mouth!  She came towards us with it then dropped it about a metre or two from the fence. They spent the rest of the day inside the shelter at the centre of their enclosure.

7th November 


Cubs – It has been great to see them utilising the back of their enclosure with its more dense bushes and undergrowth as well as the shelter in the hospital camp, especial when it is very hot.  They are growing everyday and always happy and playful.

11th November

Temp 15ºC

Bongani 1400hrs - I took 8 students to see the cats.

Kuma - He was sitting on the big dead tree. As we approached Shada’s camp he came down and watched us.  Its been good to see him as he can  be scarce some days.
Cubs - They were fine just playing and followed us all the way to Brutus and Kuma camp, with the students taking lots of picture, as they are cute lionesses.
Shada - She was sitting as if she was expecting us!  She sat there, relaxed, just looking at us. After some time she moved and the students could see how big is she. She then went and lay behind a bush and looked at us from there.
Jools and Jerry - They were looking intently into Shada’s camp and she was looking back at them.
Brutus - He didn’t pay much attention to us, he was dozing.  He lifted his head to look at us then went back to sleep again.  His favourite spot recently seems to be lying in a furrow.  It used to be easy to check on him because you could see him from afar, now you have to get right close up to him.

12th November

Weather - 40% rain

Bongani - As it was raining most the cats were all hiding under bushes and shelters.

Brutus was behind the hospital camp as it is thick with bushes in there. It was a surprise to see him there, away from his favourite spot in the open. He was there almost the rest of his day.
Cubs - They were sleeping behind the hospital camp as there is a big bush there where they could hide from rain – rather than using the little cave we had made for them which would be much more rainproof!   I fed them at about 9h00 in the morning and they didn’t even come to the fence they waited for me at hospital camp. We separate them most times when we feed, one in the hospital camp and the other in the main camp. Sarnia blocked Marina and she (Marina) jumped over her sister into the hospital camp and it was very funny.

13th November

Weather: Rain 50-60%


Kuma - When the guests arrived we started at Kuma’s camp and it was exciting as he was visible. As we approached his camp he was patrolling around marking his territory, spraying urine all over. By the time we were on the viewing deck he was there waiting for us. The guests were so impressed as they did not see a wild leopard on their game drive, and here was Kuma very close to them. We then moved to Shada’s and left him playing with bones and rolling on the ground.
Shada - She was hiding on the tour but we could only see her head because she was sleeping and it was drizzling. When I checked her later she was in front of the deck and ignoring Jools and Jerry although they were watching her every movement.  She just sat next to the bushes away from their view and relaxed, gazing down at the public road. I have also noticed that if she in one position she will spend most time in that particular spot.
Jerry and Jools - We did not see them they were close to the hospital camp lying down. After some time they moved from there and they went to sleep close to Shada s camp. They saw Shada and started looking at her and she ran away to hide.
Cubs - It is always fun to see them although we didn’t see them as close as usual, they were far from us at the back of their camp. The guests couldn’t believe they are 1 year old because as we approach Brutus camp they came down close to us by the water trough. They were hiding in the shelter by the time the rain started and spent most of the time in there.  Normally they spend most of the day playing around, chasing each other all over the place.
Brutus - He spent some time at the back of the hospital camp, getting shelter from the rain in the bushes.When the rain stops, he went back to the front to his usual spot to rest or sleep there.

Credit Glen Vena / BFF / Shamwari
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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