We operate two sanctuaries in Shamwari Game Reserve – the Julie Ward Centre (est. 1999) and the Jean Byrd Centre (est. 2006) – to provide lifetime care for lions and leopards rescued from zoos, circuses and other captive environments. An education centre also allows local children and other visitors to learn about South Africa’s wildlife and the importance of conservation.
Born Free works in collaboration with Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary to provide safe, natural enclosures for big cats, rescued from zoos, circuses and other captive facilities.
Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary is a non-profit organisation founded by Lizaene Cornwall and Cathrine S. Nyquist in 2014, located 140 kilometres from Cape Town, in South Africa’s Western Cape. It is a sanctuary for captive-bred big cats where they will be protected for the rest of their lives.
Supported by British Airways Holidays, the Born Free Rescue Section was unveiled in November 2019.
The natural bush enclosures give the lions the space and privacy they so desperately need in an area closed off from visitors.