WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION
Lions, Leopards, Tigers, Caracals ... Get up close and personal with big cats! This is a truly unique and exhilarating experience to get involved behind the scenes in a big-cat sanctuary.
This is a true conservation sanctuary and no ‘cub-petting’ breeding or trading takes place!
The sanctuary is situated on a 40 Hectare ‘piece of paradise’, filled with lots of large trees, a natural spring and amazing 360 degree mountain views. It’s environmentally friendly and was built to home any captive-bred big cats, to ensure that they will be protected and prosper for the rest of their lives.
You’ll help with all aspects of the day to day running of a big cat sanctuary, with the focus being on education and enclosure enrichment for the cats. You’ll work in some or all of the following areas:
- Caring for the amazing big cats
- Enrichment program – to improve the enclosures and provide entertainment for the cats
- Preparation of food and feeding tasks
- Cleaning and maintaining enclosures
- General farm work
- Educating visitors (training provided)
Hear and feel a lion roaring up close, get love and recognition from a leopard, experience the loud ‘chuffing’ of a tiger and see these previously rescued cats appreciate the toys and enrichment you provide for their enclosures and everyday enjoyment.
As at early 2018, the Sanctuary was caring for 23 predators, mostly big cats. The animals currently there include:
- 1 Leopard
- 1 Black leopard
- 11 Lions
- 2 Bengal Tigers
- 2 Cheetahs
- 3 Caracals
- 3 Jackals
The Story of Sheeba, a rescued Leopard:
Welcome home Sheeba! Sheeba, a beautiful leopard boy, has joined the pride! Sheeba’s story is one that is sadly becoming more common in South Africa. He was kept in a 2m x 2m cement cage, waiting for his fate as just another commodity in the canned hunting industry. He had been force-fed to create a larger pelt, as this made him more valuable for hunters. He was extremely overweight, so much that his belly dragged on the ground.
He was thankfully rescued by a good samaritan, the owner of a Private Game Reserve. When rescued, he had severe lacerations and open wounds caused by his caged conditions. He also had been declawed. A vet attended to him and put him on a special diet. Sheeba recovered from his wounds and spent some good years at the Reserve before he was given to the Sanctuary for further recovery and special care.
Sheeba is settling in well to his new home, although he prefers his shelter for now. The Sanctuary is giving him the space he needs to settle in while ensuring him that he is safe and protected, and he is now free from any expectations. The only wish is for him to be at peace and enjoy life at this divine sanctuary.
A LITTLE ABOUT THE ANIMALS AT THE SANCTUARY:
Did you know:
• Leopards are very agile, and can run over 60 km/h, leap nearly 7 meters and jump over 3 meters high?
• Leopards are very adaptable and are found in sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, the Himalayas, Russia, China, and Sri Lanka
• Black (melanistic) leopards are actually a very dark brown and have their own unique pattern of rosettes.
• Leopards in the Cape Mountains are unique pygmy forms only half the size of the more common leopards.
• The word “Leopard” is a combination of “Leo” (lion) and “Pard-us” (panther)
Did you know:
• Tigers show their affection by chuffing (a ‘throaty’moan)?
• There are 3,200 tigers left in the wild and at least 5,000 tigers in captivity in the United States.
• A group of tigers is known as an “ambush” or a “streak”.
• Tigers are more cooperative than lions. When a tiger crosses paths with another tiger while hunting, they’ll often share the kill instead of fighting over it.
• Tigers have been known to imitate the call of other animals to successfully attract prey.
Did you know:
• Lions are the only social cats of the big cats and live together in a pride?
• There are less than 20,000 lions left in the wild, yet they are not officially listed as Endangered.
• There are hundreds of white lions in captivity and only 13 white lions living in the wild.
Did you know that Black Backed Jackals are the most lightly built jackal and they are considered to be the oldest living member of the genus Canis?
Did you know:
• Caracals are known for their ability to capture birds by leaping 2 m (6.6 ft) or more into the air from a standing start?
• Caracals can reach up to 80 km/h (50mph) and are fast and strong enough to bring down an ostrich!
• Caracals are listed as of "Least Concern", but are still considered pests to farmers throughout their range and their numbers are in decline. Education is important in order to help humans live alongside these small, yet fierce and agile predators.