Most people try to keep their bathrooms spotless but one family decided to use theirs – to raise a LEOPARD CUB. Newly-born Nimbus was abandoned by mother shortly after her birth at a wildlife park.
Keeper Jamie found her close to death along with another cub who sadly didn’t survive. He decided to take her home and rear her by hand – using the family bathroom as her makeshift compound. His delighted children, Jai, 13, and Niemi, 10, helped with the care and Nimbus, now two months old, is well enough to return to the wildlife park.
Jamie said: ‘We found her abandoned in the leopard exhibit with another cub, who unfortunately didn’t survive. ‘Once we warmed her up and gave her some food it was actually surprising how strong she was. ‘We decided the bathroom was the best place to bring her up because she could have free rein. ‘It’s also got a very easy floor to clean and obviously she had her own bed in there and everything. It just meant that we had to sacrifice our bathroom. ‘We’d quite often get out of the shower to a rather sharp surprise. The children also had their toes nibbled whilst they were using the toilet quite a lot.’
Jamie said they kept a constant eye on the cub, to monitor any changes in her health. He added: ‘It’s best to keep them at home because things can change so fast and it’s good to be around just in case. ‘She’s spent about six weeks in the house. At first I would be feeding her just whenever she was hungry. ‘Now I’ve managed to limit it to every four hours from 6am to 10pm, you have to limit it really for their health and your own sanity. ‘The kids would get the odd scratch but in general she was very good with them and they were very good with her.
‘You have to be careful now though, you forget how big their teeth and claws become, she was starting to show her animal instincts.’ The leopard has now been returned to the wildlife park where she will gradually be introduced to other big cats. Jamie said that whilst it was sad to see her go, it was the right time for her to leave. He said: ‘It is a little bit sad to see her go but she left at the right time and now we can have our bathroom back.’
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