Felicia was born March 1st 2013 in Gauteng, South Africa. With her rescue and introduction to the other leopards, our Leopard Conservation Project SA made great progress. Below you can read the full story of Felicia, how she went “through wars” when she was a cub, and thanks to WCW founder/CEO Babette de Jonge she is still with us, alive and healthy.
She gave birth to two amazing sons, in January 2016 to Solo, who left 16th March 2018 for a soft release to Mpumalanga, and December 2017 to Chui, who will have the same future when old enough.
A video many of you have no doubt been waiting for, recorded about 1.5 weeks after the successful life saving operation of our youngest ambassador leopard Felicia. A stressful time for all of us, but after a wrong diagnosis, thinking we would loose her like we lost her brother Floris, we were glad that the second opinion by the specialist in Jo’burg signified the right diagnosis and the operation that followed was very successful as you can see on this video. WCW couldn’t wait to see her and show you all, who showed great compassion and interest in her situation, how well she is recovering.
Lioncub Simba thought she was too wild to play with (good sign!) so for now we did play with her, but we cannot wait for her to meet her future partner Felix. Last week Felicia finally could eat bones again…she wasn’t allowed to eat this for the first month after the operation as it could do damage, but this went also well, and she enjoys chewing on them….we can now really say: Felicia is recovered!!! She has some catching up to do with growing, but we have faith this will happen soon. So, do watch and enjoy the video of our “crown princess: FELICIA and I am sure you will even more close her in your hearts, than you already did!
Update October 2015: The other side of leopard
LEOPARD FELICIA’S TALE – FEB 2014
A day to day tale in word and image, about the youngest WCW ambassadorleopard Felicia, the miracle girl who had a rough start in life, and gave us lots of struggles and lots of determination and heartache was needed to come to this moment on which we could relocate the 10 months old Felicia to the base of our WCW Leopard Conservation Project at Spotted Cats Conservation, to her future boyfriend Felix and her other leopardfriends Feline & Félipe.
10 long months to try and get her “alive and healthy” to her other leopardfriends…firstly struggling to have her and her brother Floris away from the breeder, to have her grow up at a temporary place, with a sudden serious threat to her and her brother’s life, after which we lost her brother and were getting a wrong diagnose for Felicia, getting a second opinion which lead to her successful life saving operation, thinking she ended up at a good place which appeared to be run by golddiggers who didn’t want to let her go……Felicia has now finally arrived at our Spotted Cats Conservation project, succesfully introduced to our other ambassadors Felix, Feline, Félipe who all three are pampering her. Within a week we saw her grow in confidence, size and happiness. A wonderful tale to tell: Felicia’s tale!!! Watch this space!!!
Day I: Finally arrived after a 7 hour drive at full speed in soaring heat…..Felicia couldn’t wait to get out of the crate and she was excited to sight her new friends waiting anxiously for her on the other side of the fence.
Day I: most important first meeting: Felix welcoming Felicia in a very friendly way, firstly just through the fence but the next day we already had the introduction without fencing planned, since they reacted so well to each other.
Day I: Felicia seeing more leopardfriends, who were anxious to meet her….
Day I: for 10 months and due to her rough start, Felicia is still a bit smaller than the average young leopard of the same age, also still looking quite fragile, but we saw her “grow” within a few days already.
Day I: Félipe (right) and Felix were both very keen on meeting this gorgeous new ladyfriend. Félipe more in a playful way, Felix more in an adult way.
Day I: all four leopards together…..Feline also welcomed Felicia warmly….and she turned out to be a surrogate mom for Felicia in the following days.
Day I: lots of new experiences, a long and hot day….but a great new life ahead of our little girl
Day I: Enjoying the first meal. When Félipe was coming too close on the other side of the fence, Felicia showed what she was made of: a deep growl and she just kept on eating…..even Félipe was impressed.
Day I: Still some energy left to run and play. A joyful jump in the direction of her new friends…..even though on the other side of the fence they included her in lots of their plays, like they also did when we firstly introduced Félipe to Feline and Felix. The signs certainly are very good and the coming days there was a lot to happen…..
Day 2: time to meet up close and personally. Here’s Felix meeting his girlfriend Felicia..finally!! They both loved each other instantly! We didn’t expect anything else.
Day 2: after having played a while the new couple was enjoying a relaxed moment. Just a reminder: Felix is an adult male, Felicia a female youngster he has never seen before….day 2 we let them get together and we did have all the faith in the world they would accept and like each other…..same happened when we introduced the unrelated male cub Félipe to Feline and Felix..also he was accepted within a day. For people to see and learn about the leopards…and about males in general. Why would they attack and kill? Not as vicious as many people seem to think..or which applies more to the human race!
Day 2: As it was quite hot, Felicia withdraw and went to have a rest in the nighthouse….followed by Felix who was still in for a cuddle!
Day 2: then Felicia could meet adult female Feline…
Day 2: Also Feline & Felicia bonded right away. Feline acted soon like a surrogate mom to Felicia…who gladly accepted the role as surrogate daughter….
Day 2: playtime!!! Amazing how the grown ups know they have to play gently with the smaller ones…
Day 2: Shall we play a little bit more, “mom” Feline? Felicia seems to be saying.
Day 2: like mom and daughter….a touching moment!
Day 2: Wow nice action….Felicia almost jumping out of the picture….jumping on Felix who just waited for her to jump very gently…
Day 2: A valuable lesson for Feline, that “kids” can be very persistent and sometimes playing roughly. She accepts it gently though. She will be the best mom!!
Day IV: Now it was Félipe’s turn to meet Felicia, they both waited for this so long as already through the fence they connected and clearly wanted to play.
Day IV: After the introduction, Félipe and Felicia did a lot of playing and after a days they more and more slept together and clearly appreciating each other’s company.
Day IV: Even though Félipe has the size of an adult male leopard already, he is still young (1year, 3 months) and he certainly is happy with Felicia to play with. of course adults Feline & Felix do play at times but these two together are full of play and energy.
Day IV: Our smallest and tallest leopard ambassador really have found each other.
Day IV: Felicia challenging Félipe to play a bit more. He always was the one with most energy but now Felicia definitely wins as for the level of energy.
FELICIA SAYS GOODBYE TO BROTHER FLORIS – SEPT 2013
Even though we are so thrilled and grateful that we still have Felicia with us, in good health after her life saving operation, we of course were sad to loose her brother Floris. We like to give him an appropriate farewell, see you again….also Felicia said her goodbyes in her own way. We have Floris his ashes and will scatter this in the new home where he and Felicia were supposed to live in together and in which Felicia will soon start living when our two cheetah ambassadors moved out to their own huge new camp. This is the moment to reunite brother and sister as a sort of blessing to her, to have a long and happy life with her boyfriend Felix, when she is old enough.
I will always remember you little brother!
We so much wished for Felicia and Floris to grow up the first year of their lives and be happy and healthy…not meant to be for Floris….but we luckily could save Felicia.
As if Felicia knew what was going on….she stopped playing for a while, took a moment of silence..
Hairs are growing again on her belly and time heals all wounds…..
Felicia makes sure her little bro is still there…..
Saying a prayer for Floris
Floris his ashes safely stored with us until we can scatter it in the new home of Felicia.
We will never forget you little boy, your spirit lives on in your little sister
SUCCESSFUL OPERATION LEOPARDAMBASSADOR FELICIA – 13TH AUGUST 2013
We are so happy to tell you that Felicia’s life saving operation took place this morning and went well. The specialist was very satisfied about her and the way she is recovering, as she was already getting a bit active and she ate some minced meat. It was the “hiatus hernia” that made her feel so ill, probably caused by her mother stepping on her. Thanks to everybody who supported us and Felicia with their care, compassion, expertise….also to you who showed interest in the daily Facebook up-dates of Felicia (which will continue until she is fully recovered, and after that….). Donations are still welcome as for a non profit org we have incredible vet and operation costs now, with a million thanks to the ones who already were so generous to give a donation, some even more than once. From the bottom of our hearts: thanks!!!!! Felicia will get the best life possible and will be spoilt (like all the ambassador cats at our projects!!!)
BREAKING NEWS 29TH JULY 2013
Our young leopard ambassador Felicia has a birth defect called “Megaesophagus”. She needs to be taken to Johannesburg for a life-saving operation. We need to urgently raise USD 1,800 for this operation. Please help bydonating and spreading the word.
BREAKING NEWS 26TH JULY 2013
Sadly we discovered our young leopardambassador Felicia had a birthdefect called “Megaesophagus”. We lost her brother Floris who also had different complications like a kidney failure, but as Felicia was throwing up as well we did have tests and scans of her too. The vet said he never saw an animal alive who suffered this defect as mostly they die of it soon. She is improving a little with a different way of feeding, but is not her oldself yet. As she is not having pain we didn’t want to give up on her yet and to give her a chance to get better. Hopefully we can have her operated as this would be the best chance to survival and to have a good worthy life. We will keep you up-dated about our little girl and her progress. Please do pray for her recovery. Thanks to Lizette van Schalkwyk for her support and all efforts to get her better with good care and TLC.
Felicia will be the future partner for our big boy Felix. First she has lots of grow up to do and play with her brother Floris.
Leopardbabies are already great ambassadors for their species. No one can deny leopards are not only having the cutest babies of the big catfamily but they are also one of the most gorgeous and mesmerizing members of the big catfamily.
Felicia, 6 weeks young now and a proud new ambassador of our WCW leopard Conservation Project with her brother Floris. Felicia will be the future girlfriend of our Felix.
Felicia reminds us very much of Feline when she was around ths size, even a bit smaller.
Felicia and Floris running and playing…
Aren’t they cute, our true new ambassadors Floris and Felicia.