Leopards' Best Friend: Fearless Woman Saves Wild Cats And Lives With Them In A Sanctuary

Date April 27, 2018 15:12

Living in the Netherlands, Babette de Jonge’s heart certainly lies in Africa. For years, the woman has been traveling the continent to see her great passion: small and big wild cats living in their natural habitat.

Cats in general, whether they’re domestic or very small or very big, I’m just attracted to their looks and also to the way they’re so independent but also so loving.

An idealistic enthusiast even started her own foundation, Wild Cats World in 2010. The aim of this non-profit organization is to help conserve endangered wild catspieces and provide those animals born in captivity with a safe place until they can be released into the wild again.

Besides, the 50-year-old also raises awareness, provides education, and shares wonderful photos and videos about wild cats.

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One of her projects is the sanctuary in South Africa, which she started in 2012. Now, it is home to many species, including leopards, cheetahs, caracals, servals, and black-footed cats. And Babette is the animals’ greatest friend.

How is she not afraid to spend so much time with wild cats?

The answer is simple:

I just go in naturally, and I see how they behave and if it’s nice and fine, I’m staying. If not, I go out and the game is over.

Barcroft Animals / YouTube

Babette always loves the moment when the animals come to her and great her. Sometimes, they give her a headshake, and sometimes they can spray her.

Barcroft Animals / YouTube

In fact, the cats are never aggressive. Most of the time, they are just naughty or playful. Otherwise, the woman would not come near them anymore.

Barcroft Animals / YouTube

The animal lover has rescued the cats from exploitative petting centers and canned hunting. She also took in injured, trapped, and orphan animals from the wild.

Barcroft Animals / YouTube

With time, Babette aims to release the cats back into their natural habitat, though a soft release can take years! But these animals are surely lucky to have a human friend who can make their freedom possible.

Of course, it’s not the first time wild cats develop a friendly relationship with people. Dolph C. Volker has volunteered at one of the cheetah breeding centers in South Africa for 4 years. He often goes a year without seeing his make cheetah buddy, Gabriel.

And the reaction when the cat sees its human friend is just adorable!

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