JenB and his brother (as yet unnamed) were born on March 30th this year and are being devotedly cared for by their mother, Cathay, at the South African reserve of the charity “Save China’s Tigers”.
The animals are part of an ambitious ‘rewilding’ training programme at Laohu Valley Reserve, where they are being prepared for eventual release into their natural Chinese habitat.
The organisation’s founder, Li Quan, today announced the naming of the cub – and explained the significance of “JenB”. Ms Li Quan said Save China’s Tigers decided to name the cub after the late Jenifer Bone, of Sydney, Australia, to commemorate her kindness to the tigers.
Ms Bone, operated a trendy homeware retail business with her sister Rosalind in the fashionable Sydney suburb of Paddington. Jenifer, who passed away on 24 October 2007, was a lifelong lover of big cats and bequested a donation of AUD$75,000 to the project
Ms. Bone’s sister, Rosalind Wood, said: “From quite a young adult age, Jenny developed a major concern for endangered animals, and throughout her business life was a quiet but generous donor to several causes which she followed with enthusiasm.
“However, her greatest love was for the cat family – both large and small. Over the years, Jenny observed with horror the decline of several species of the large cat family, and one of her final wishes was to be to able to support in some way the breeding programmes of one or more of these.”
She continued, “As her sister, I know that she would be happy to know this is what Save China’s Tigers’ rewilding and breeding programme is achieving – in their quest to rescue the magnificent South China Tiger from extinction. May we see more and more of them being bred and reintroduced to the wild over the coming years and may Jenny's contribution go some little way in assisting this cause.”
Steven Prassas, legal representative for Ms Bone’s estate, added, “I was given the responsibility of selecting organizations dedicated to Big Cat Conservation to receive donation from estate monies.
“My initial research led me to contact Save China's Tigers and I got to know more about Li Quan and her unique, bold and challenging initiative to breed and re-wild South China tigers, with the ultimate objective of re-introducing them back into a Chinese wildlife reserve, rather than a cage.
“I had the privilege of visiting the project’s 300-square-kilometre reserve to meet with her and her team and to see her program in action. I will never forget my introduction to an up-close and personal view of the tigers and their cubs in the wild.Their beauty, strength and majesty are simply awe inspiring. After four days at Laohu Valley I was convinced of the necessity of the program and had no hesitation in selecting Save China's Tiger as a worthy recipient to assist in its work.”
“I commend Li Quan and the wildlife management team for their success to date in the breeding and re-wilding of the South China tigers and for their staunch commitment to these magnificent animals to save them from the very real threat of extinction.”
Quan said, “We are extremely grateful for the generous support of the Jenifer Bone Estate. The donation will be put towards our operations immediately. One priority will be building better maternity facilities for the tigresses to give birth in a more secure environment.”
JenB is a strong cub and very healthy. He has lived under different weather conditions, including very cold rainy and windy days, with the care of his mother. He will soon start re-wilding training – still under the maternal guidance of Cathay.