Meet the Big Cats

Be awed by a Big Cat experience

Nothing quite matches a lion experience. 249 kgs of fully-maned, male lion is something to behold, and if you catch them at one of their public-facing fence-line games, you’ll definitely know you are alive.

A Bengal tiger experience is just as thrilling. These water-loving felines pack 135-145 kgs of raw power, love scent, and will hide-and-seek with visitors, crouching behind the wall. Look out for the sudden appearance. They have all the tricks and traits of domestic cats; full of speed, surprise, and stalking skills. You will leave the big cat sanctuary, but our cats will stay with you for a long time.

Cats born abroad arrived in New Zealand between the ages of six months and three years.

Meet our Cats


Male Barbary cross African lion

Abdullah was born on 31 January 2006 right here at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary but he’s lost his spot near the butchery where he used to be able to cadge a little scrap now and then from the butchers. He’d turn on the charm and strike a marvellous pleading pose, and it often worked. You’ll know he wants your attention if you see him rubbing his head or body along the fence, or sounds a low begging-type call at you. He keeps a protective eye on the Sanctuary and will often give chase to a new face or vehicle – an absolute Prince is our Abdullah.


Female (white) African Lion

Amafu was born on 20 May 2004 at the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve in Krugersdorp, South Africa. Curiosity might kill some cats, but this one always likes to get to the fence first and check out what’s going on. She loves lots of attention, but never get between her and her food – anything that does that will be very much the worse for wear.


Female Barbary cross African Lion

Cleo was born here at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary on 31 January 2006 and is Abdullah’s sister. She adores cuddles and will ankle-tap her enclosure partner, female Bengal Tiger, Shanti. Cleo’s favourite toy is a go-kart tyre and you’ll often catch her playing with it in the mornings. She’ll swipe at anything in the way of the spot she wants to occupy.


Female Barbary Lion

Cora was born on 26 December 2002, here at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. This royal female exhibits plenty of sass, although she’s generally quite co-operative and will do what is needed. It just comes with a bit of attitude attached. She’s a sucker for toys, boxes and animal products put together, and she really likes a bit of people interaction (chat) with her milk treat (60ml syringe of milk supplement) or a hand feed with tongs.


Female (white) African  Lion

Imvula was born on 28 July 2004 at the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve at Krugersdorp, South Africa. This beautiful cat loves a good syringe full of milk but you have to maintain focus, or she’ll turn thief and pinch the whole syringe from you.


Female Bengal Tiger

Indira was born on 20 November 2004 here at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. She loves a good game of hide-and-seek at the fence line and greets her keepers with full eye contact acknowledgement in the mornings. A friendly feline, Indira is a natural swimmer and loves splashing in her pool. Tigers are one of the few cats that relish water and are capable of swimming up to three miles without a break.


Female Barbary Lion

Jabu was born here at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary on 26 December 2002 and is a sister to Cora. Both these magnificent cats deliver plenty of attitude, although Jabu is usually quite happy to do what is needed. She just wants to do everything with a liberal lathering of cheek. Like Cora, boxes, toys and animal products put together are absolutely her thing, and she loves some people interaction (chat) with her milk or hand feeding.


Male (white) African Lion

Laduma was born on 20 May 2004 at the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve at Krugersdorp, South Africa. He is the biggest cat in the Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary weighing in at 249kgs. He is brother to Amafu whose enclosure he shares. Laduma’s King of Animals personality transforms instantly to mewling and groaning whenever he gets a milk treat. He loves attention, and balls, and will chase a ball energetically along the fence line. It’s best if nothing gets in the way of his ball or there’ll be King of the Animals trouble because he’s very protective of it.


Male Leopard (Melanistic black)

Mandla was born on 1 October 2002 at Heythrop Zoological Gardens, Oxfordshire, UK. He’s a sleek, magnificent, black attention snatcher, but he’s not coming down, or over, for just anyone. You can subvert him though with coffee or chicken. He launches into a frenzy over fresh-brewed coffee spray, and chicken is simply his favourite meal. He’ll hold a conversation with you, as long as you can interpret his grunts and moans.


Female Bengal Tiger

Rewa was born on 16 July 2001 at Wildwood Endangered Animal Sanctuary in Oregon, USA. You’ll find this beautiful white tiger often sparring like a boxer with any recycled marine buoy that is put in her enclosure as a toy. She loves to play chasies along the fence-line and ‘chuffs’ at most passers-by. If you ‘chuff’ back, she’ll engage in a sort of chat with you.


Male (white) African Lion

Sabie was born on 17 January 2007 here at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. This superb fully-maned king of the jungle absolutely goes to heaven on cinnamon. If it’s put into his enclosure for his pleasure, he’ll sniff it and like a kitten, will roll over and rub himself in it. When it suits him, Sabie loves some personal attention. He shares his enclosure with his brother Sibili.


Female Barbary Lion

Savannah was born on 27 January 2001 at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. She adores attention, and wants lots of it. She’ll do almost anything for eggs, and if we hang something in her tree, she’s happy for hours. She has a naughty tendency to annoy her neighbours, and then sit back content to watch the action.


Female Bengal Tiger

Shanti was born to Rewa (Enclosure 8) on 21 October 2005 here at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. She’s a bit of a lady and loves scents, including Kim Kardashian perfume, and ginger and turmeric, and she’ll roll around trying to bury herself in scent to the point of not being present to anything else going on. Shanti loves a good game of hide-and-seek with you, crouching down behind the enclosure wall. You’ll find her sharing company with Cleo the lioness.


Female Barbary Lion

Shikira was born on 23 February 2004 at the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve at Krugersdorp, South Africa. This feline majesty prefers to play in private and absolutely loves sporting with a ball, but usually only when she thinks she isn’t being watched. She is always ready for any stray treats the butcher or keepers might toss into her enclosure, and if she believes you’re holding onto one, she’ll run along the fence with you. Watch for the mouthy sideways growl as she chats with you.


Male Barbary Lion

Shumba was born on 7 June 2004 here at Kamo Wildlife Centre. He is the classic male lion seeking to intimidate until you earn his respect. He loves stinky perfumes and aftershaves and other strong smells. He shares his enclosure with his brother, Zamba.


Male (white) African Lion

Sibili was born on 17 January 2007 here at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary and is brother to Sabie. As male lions go, Sibili is relatively docile, but like all cats, his curiosity gets the better of him. If something new turns up in his enclosure, whether it is toys or twigs, he will make certain to check it out until he’s quite satisfied, and okay with it being there. He’s another one who when it suits him, loves to get cuddles.


Female Cheetah

Thabo was born on 1 January 2004 at the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve at Krugersdorp, South Africa. Now in her older years she’s more of a leisure-lover and prefers short bursts of running or play. That famed Cheetah speed whips out pretty smartly though when there’s a tasty snack tossed over the fence for her by a keeper or the butcher. Thabo likes supermarket frozen chicken that has been defrosted for her and wouldn’t dream of touching a fresh chicken with feathers on. Soft, low conversations calms her and she loves to engage in them.


Male (white) African Lion

Themba was born on 11 December 2006, here at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. He’s very confident and definitely stands his ground.  Themba’s characteristics will naturally ensure that he could become King-pin at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. You’ll find this big golden lion playing tag with his brother Timba, and the pair of them can often be seen walking in unison like a marching band.


Male African Lion

Timba was born on 11 December 2006 at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. He is brother to Themba and has quite a shy personality. He’s definitely a scent lad, and enjoys pleasure enhancement that comes in the form of scents. He’s also very partial to a milk treat. Timba keeps his brother company in their enclosure.


Male Barbary Lion

Zamba was born on 7 June 2001 here at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. He lives with his brother, Shumba but is a much more relaxed lion, and likes to get his full 20 hours a day of sleep (normal for male lions). He is Shumba’s protector, always keeping an eye out to make sure he’s okay.