Kambuku came to us in 2007 when the old zoo was closed down. He had been rescued by the Department of Parks & Wildlife many years before with a dislocated right knee after being caught in a poacher’s snare in Nyika National Park. Due to his injury and time spent in captivity he could never be released. He very much enjoyed the space of his large enclosure here at LWC and the privacy it afforded him. He loved to lounge on his platform in the mornings and then retreat to the shady woods in the afternoon. He was known for being a little grumpy and preferred to keep himself to himself (as wild animals should). He did have a few favourites, like Yessiah, our head animal carer and Bev, one of our trustees who had known him as far back as his time in the old zoo and used to come and bring him boiled eggs as a special treat.
Sadly he developed arthritis in his knee after his injury, and over the last year we had noticed a steep deterioration in his movement and comfort. He was putting so much weight on his left side that he also got arthritis in his left leg meaning that he found it very painful to move around. We investigated various options for operating and put him on pain medication which helped a little, but after much deliberation we decided that it was better that he end his days now rather than continue in such pain when the only prognosis would be further decline.
So, here’s to Kambuku, a very majestic leopard who had many more extra years than he would otherwise have had thanks to the generosity of our supporters and the hard work of our carers.