Feline was born November 7th 2011 in Hoopstad. She was moved to Cheetah Experience and Lizaene (of now Panthera Africa Big cat sanctuary) started raising her, when we got to know this very special girl. We were about to start our Leopard Conservation Project, and decided Feline would be the Matriarch of this project, our first ambassador of the species.
We didn’t want a life in the petting industry for her, so we first moved her to Zanchieta sanctuary (it is difficult being Dutch without land in a country like South Africa, so depending on the ‘goodness’ of other places/people) to have her with another leopard, to have a life with her own kind instead of too much human interference. We were shocked to find that Feline’s brother, Felix, still appeared on a Trading list, offering leopards, lions and other animals to the (canned) hunting and petting industry mainly. We decided to have him come over and be the leopard friend that we so badly wanted for Feline, to play with and just to be leopard with.
With the both of them we started our leopard conservation project in Kirkwood. Here we could start a conservation project and sanctuary focused on South African native species, in our own care and with our own (limited) volunteer project.
We allowed to have Feline (with Felipe) and Felix (with Felicia) 1 or 2 litters of cubs, meant to be released. After having proven to be a great, caring mom, Feline saw her kids, Olive, Beau & Bahati, leave for a (soft) release on 16th of March 2018.
Update October 2015: The other side of leopard
Update October 19, 2015: Feline (and Félipe).. happily expecting…
First litter, 4th November 2015: 2 girls, Olive & Kali (r.i.p)
Second litter, 6th of January 2017: 2 boys, Beau & Bahati.
October 2013: Meet Wild Cats World’s ambassador leopards Feline, Felix, and Félipe in their ‘den’, meaning their night house. They can withdraw whenever they like into their most private space, but they still allow their keepers to come in and sit with them. Here you can see them resting in their den during daytime, and also how well they accept our presence in their most intimate space.
Update 23.09.2018 Third litter, African leopards Feline & Félipe: three gorgeous cubs
We are very proud to inform you about a third successful birth of our African leopard couple Feline & Félipe. After the relocation of the youngsters from previous litters to be (soft) released, March this year, the couple must have thought it is too quiet and time for new off spring. On August 22nd we could welcome three gorgeous and healthy cubs again, 2 females & 1 male. Names we have but are only meant for insiders, like the people who work closely with them, and sponsors or (symbolic) adoption parents. For the world it is most important to know the African leopard (Panthera Pardus Pardus) is currently vulnerable on the red list of the IUCN, and as numbers are declining rapidly everywhere but also in South Africa, where the leopard ban on hunting has been withdrawn in some Provinces as well, these three new cubs, and any other in the future, are essential for the future of the species. Of course these cubs, like the last born of our other couple Felicia & Felix, will in time be relocated for a (soft) release. As a matter of fact we already have a request by a wonderful, outstanding Private Game Reserve (non-hunting area), so the future looks bright. Of course the first one to two years they can enjoy the save surroundings close to their amazingly wonderful and protective mom Feline, dad Félipe and our other leopards.