Bakari - the lively leopard - who has spend the last six years of his life in our Big Cat Centre FELIDA has finally moved to South Africa, where he finds a lifelong, species-appropriate home in our Big Cat Sanctuary LIONSROCK.
Life wasn't easy for the beautiful leopard. Bakari was originally born in a German zoo, where his very own purpose was to take pictures with visitors during a Christmas dinner. After the event was over, he wasn't needed any longer.
Bakari is a symbol that today's throwaway society doesn't care if it's a good or a living creature they are getting rid of. At the young age of only 2,5 months, leopard Bakari came to Pantera - a big cat centre in the Netherlands, which FOUR PAWS took over in 2013. We renamed it FELIDA Big Cat Centre and started building bigger enclosures for the animals there. Ever since FELIDA has been a temporary home for rescued big cats.
When FOUR PAWS took over Pantera, 26 big cats were living there. Far too many for the area 1 hectare of size. We immediately reacted and transferred the first big cats to LIONSROCK in 2013. The following two years all-together 13 big cats found a new, species-appropriate home in our Big Cat Sanctuary LIONSROCK. In 2016 it was finally Bakari's turn.
In the last six years, he was living in FELIDA Simone, site manager of FELIDA and her team tried hard to offer him a comfortable life. His enclosure was gradually enlarged, trees and bushes were planted for him to climb and fulfill his natural instincts and on a daily basis new enrichment was given to him. Nevertheless, it was clear for all of us, that FELIDA wouldn't be Bakari's final destination. The young leopard deserves to live a species-appropriate life in the land of his forefathers. This weekend, he finally moved in...