#BigCat news from Wildlife Heritage Foundation
The year has got off to a great start as the Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) have finally be given the breeding recommendation by the stud book keeper for the Snow Leopards. It is currently mating season for the Snow Leopards (Jan-March) and they were introduced for the first time on 27 Jan for a short time, between 1-2 hours. This will continue to happen, being overseen by the keeper team until they appear settled enough to cohabit, in the hope that they do indeed mate and Laila falls pregnant; Yarko is also at perfect breeding age now. They will remain together until possibly the later stages of pregnancy, when a decision as to their arrangements would be reviewed. Gestation being 100 days, would mean, any cubs would not be on display by the open days in July.
Griffin the Caracal has settled into his enclosure between the retired Sumatran and Snow Leopard enclosure. He appears to be enjoying having space and is becoming more comfortable with his new neighbours and will form part of the photography days in the not too distant future.
There are lots of Pallas Cat changes! Firstly, WeiShand is soon to be transferred to the Highlands Wildlife Park as part of the breeding programme. It is hoped he will produce more kittens with a new mate. In turn Jethro, a male, ten month old Pallas cat will be coming to join Tula at WHF with a potential breeding recommendation. Tashi, will also be heading off to Gorlitz Zoo in East Germany as part of the breeding programme in March as she is now 8 months old and of age to be going to her new home.
Cheetah Bajrami has been reunited at WHF with his brothers Keene and Martin after a stay at Paradise Wildlife Park for the purposes of being a stud cat, although it is not thought this was a successful exercise. These 3 brothers arrived at WHF in June 2014, after arriving from Sweden and an initial stay at Paradise Wildlife Park, their enclosure and pathways in the cheetah area are almost complete now.
Manzi one of our 3 African Lion brothers, is heading to warmer weather. He will be going to join the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) where Zara, a lioness also resides with her cub Bisa, in the hope that they will make a breeding pair at some stage.
Manzi is 12 years old, a very sociable character who was always loathe to share keeper attention with his brothers in the past, trusting by nature he became the underdog of the trio. Eventually this meant they could no longer live all together as there was bullying behaviour, there was no option but to separate the brothers. Whilst rather heart-wrenching for some of the WHF staff and supporters, this will be a happy move for Manzi, he will be living with lionesses for the first time since he was a cub, introduction of a female at WHF would not have been an option due to space/enclosure restraints, further problems with his brothers next door would have been inevitable. Manzi has now had his health checks in preparation to go, and he will continue to be financially supported by WHF, by way of transfer and vet treatments at UWEC. There may be a documentary being filmed about his move, this is yet to be confirmed.
To find out how you can support WHF, the wildlife charity based in Kent, visit www.whf.org.uk.