Zanchieta Wild Cat Farm is situated in the heart of the Free State province in South Africa just 22km from the city of Bloemfontein.
Zanchieta is essentially a wild cat rehabilitation facility and is home to an extensive "pride" consisting of most of South Africa's great (and lesser) cats.
Owner Lizette van Schalkwyk started caring for two orphaned Caracal cubs about seven years ago and then fell in love with the wild cats of our country and so started her mission of setting up the farm as a cat haven. Those two caracal were named Zani and Ghieta, and once the lodge was built, it was named after these two, who are both still on the farm.
"After I successfully raised orphans Zani and Ghieta, I wanted to create a Wildlife & Rehabilitation Centre where sick, injured or orphaned animals and birds can be given a chance to recover and if possible, be released back into the wilds. After many years, this is now a reality at Zanchieta.
"I have in the past also purchased animals in order to save them from certain death! Those that we have now are unable to be returned into the wild for various reasons and so we are open to the public for two basic reasons. Firstly, the tour income assists with their upkeep and secondly, as an educational avenue for many people who will never have the means or opportunity to see these animals in the wild.
"I have never and never will breed or raise any BIG CAT at Zanchieta for onward selling to a third party. Our white lion pride has grown from the original male and female pair to five lions and these lions will never leave Zanchieta. No further natural breeding will occur as the females are on contraception programs. Our two male brown lions and our brown lioness were purchased as cubs and have never been allowed to breed. They too will never leave Zanchieta."
"I wish to state categorically that I abhor the concept of canned lion hunting and would never willingly be a party to any activity which could lead to this despicable so-called sport."
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