Friday, December 28, 2012

Updates on Old Friends

I thought I'd give updates on some animals that have been around awhile for the readers who have been following Harnas and/or me for some time.

Elsa, the first lion born on Harnas and the oldest living lion here, turned 26 on Christmas Day. Her back legs don't work so great, but she gets around amazingly well with the front. She's living near the main house in an enclosure where we can all keep an eye on her. She's groomed every day, her enclosure is kept spotless, and lots of people talk to her all day. She seems content. In this photo, she is upset with me because I'm sitting too close to her meat. She wasn't interested in eating it, but she sure didn't want me even to look at it. She kept up a steady stream of "talking" to me. After the pictures, I moved away and she settled down. Clearly, she's still a woman with opinions.

Audrey is our blind vervet monkey. She was kept in a dark room as a pet when she was young. When her owner suddenly exposed her to bright light, she went blind. Soon after that she came to Harnas. She is way over 20 years old--impossible to know for sure since we don't know how old she was when she came. Almost all her teeth are gone, but she lives in her little house and eats fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds. I take her a peanut each day, but she has trouble cracking it now, so I do it for her and she takes it from my hand. Then we talk awhile.

Next, Juliet is a caracal who was born two years ago about this time. She and her littermate, Romeo, were taken from their mother who had a history of abandoning her babies. They were bottle fed by Willi and Cornelia, some good German friends, but it was determined that they were blind. Romeo was killed by a snake last March, but Juliet is fine. The great news is that the vet did some treatment of Juliet's eyes, and if you look closely at the photo, you'll see that her eyes are clear and focused. She can see--very well, actually. I saw her swing at a low-flying bird. A success story.

Finally, about three years ago, Simba and Macho became parents of a litter of four lion cubs. The smallest--who seemed fragile and who needed special care--was removed from the family and hand raised. She was named Martha. Martha not only grew and thrived, but she quickly gained a reputation of being one of the fiestiest cats at Harnas. I, myself, have several scars from the girl. Now she's all grown up and living in an enclosure with a young male from an earlier litter, called Z. She's quite beautiful, but still shows her temper when her meat isn't delivered fast enough. Some things never change.

If there's an animal you'd like an update on, let me know!


  1. Awesome post (again), B. Love hearing what the animals of Harnas have been up to! Are Zion and Trust still around?

  2. I am so happy to see JULIA now with those bright clear eyes, without that sort of "film" she had when she was a baby. Pleease give her lot of kisses, I miss her! And Lady ELSA is still annoyed about nothing.... Yes, one question, where are MAX + MORITZ, lifeline or behind the Lapa??? And the 4 leopards, born July 2011??
    Thank you for the wonderful Harnas-reports