Rescued leopards thriving in South Africa

Ginny and Alda, the two rescued leopards given a new life at Born Free’s South African sanctuary, are thriving in their new home.

A leopard peers around a pole in a grassy landscape

Alda the leopard exploring her Shamwari home (c) Lyndon Brandt

Remember Ginny and Alda, the mother and daughter leopards rescued from Poland, and transported from their halfway house in Belgium to Born Free’s Shamwari Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa at the start of May?

Almost a month later, and we are pleased to report that both of the leopards have settled in well to their 2.5-acre home, and have been enjoying exploring the South African bush – a world away from the tiny, dark and dirty cell where they started out in Poland.

We are so happy (and somewhat surprised) to see Ginny and Alda spending so much time exploring the open areas of their expansive enclosures. Leopards living in the wild are naturally quite aloof, especially when compared to lions. Leopards that have lived their entire lives in confined spaces, where they have not been able to hide or escape being seen by people, can be incredibly wary and scared of people. We see this in rescued leopard Mowgli and, to a slightly lesser degree, Zeiss.

Our animal team have been lucky to have plenty of sightings of Ginny and Alda in the open, near the outskirts, of their enclosure. This might change as they gradually adapt to their new life, and they may become more elusive and spend more time enjoying the areas of their space that offers more privacy. We will then rely more on carefully placed camera traps to keep an eye on them.

Below is a video update filmed by (and featuring!) Glen Vena, Animal Care Manager at Shamwari, that sees Alda and Ginny exploring and enjoying their viewing platform:

Screenshot of a YouTube short video, showing a close up of a leopard chewing on a dried plant

Watch the video on YouTube

You can see some of the latest photos of Ginny and Alda in the gallery below – some taken by our team, and some from our camera traps.