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Leopard Characters

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Zaza - Introduction

22 February 2013


The more than 20 leopards we have dealt with at Shayamanzi since 2001 were all very special. Shayamanzi’s theme song The eyes of secret, written by Rudi Claase, is dedicated to all Shayamanzi’s leopards, those in the camps, the wild leopards on the farm and all the leopards that have been let free at Shayamanzi and left the farm into the Waterberg.

Each leopard that we have handled has rendered a contribution towards unravelling the mystery surrounding leopards. Zaza and her sister Ziana arrived at Shayamanzi in March 2007. Both sisters were approximately 11 years old. They weren´t tame enough for one to enter their camp, but they weren´t shy of people either. Since March 2007 there have been many pleasant, sad, beautiful, angry, anxious, worried, interesting, day, night, summer, winter, romantic, moody film star moments and incidents that will in time be described under Leopard characters.






Above all, it was Zaza’s face that earned her film star status. Even though she was not so tame that one could risk entering her enclosure, she was more accepting of humans than other leopards. Zaza and her sister Ziana were ideal for film productions as they had retained their natural wildness, but were tame enough to cooperate with the camera man.

Close contact with leopards over a five-year period creates wonderful opportunities for observing them in various situations, doing observations, communicating, establishing relationships with them and taking great photographs.

Through the years Zaza’s face acquired a few more scars, mainly during skirmishes with her sister in the time when they shared an enclosure. Fortunately she always recovered well, even though she once ended up in hospital.

Zaza and Ziana’s beauty ensured that they received considerable media exposure, which made a valuable contribution towards increasing awareness of and admiration for these beautiful cats.

Shayamanzi hopes to convince a number of industries to use leopard faces on their packaging. We are attempting to offer them special and unique packaging which, together with the association of their product with leopards, will make an enormous contribution to people’s awareness of the plight of the leopards.

On a game drive in Africa, few sightings are as thrilling as a sighting of a leopard, and the world of business, the tourism, entertainment and media industries, sport, game farms and the internet can all help to create leopard awareness worldwide by displaying unique faces.

Just as every leopard has a unique face, Shayamanzi would like to create a unique face for each of the above-mentioned industries on our website.


Examples of unique packaging (faces)

  • The Business World
    Each green subscriber to www.leopard.tv (at a cost of R28 p.m. for South Africans and $10 for foreigners) receives R5 000 worldwide insurance free of charge, free insurance against breast cancer for women and R5 000 accident insurance for men. The insurance against accidents includes an additional 25% cover for attacks by any of 14 wild animals. Interesting www.leopard.tv ‘views’ and ‘buys’ are available on the website at $1 each and various advertising options are on offer to give businesses an opportunity to be associated with leopards and other game.
  • The World of Tourism
    Virtual game and leopard drives that can be experienced anywhere in the world via the internet.
  • Music/entertainment world
    Songs, stories and sketches dedicated to the leopards at Shayamanzi.
  • The World of Film
    The Shayamanzi leopards have become part of the world of film through their appearance in films, on our website (which is involved in ‘behind-the-scenes’ productions) and the use of film stars in our recordings of leopard songs.
  • The Media World
    Shayamanzi offers something special to the world of magazines. Besides being able to read an article, a cell phone can be used to access a ‘tag reader’ that enables a person to watch videos. Read more about this at www.leopard.tv.
  • The Sports World
    Golf and flying are popular sports worldwide and are also associated with leisure and tourism. At Shayamanzi we hit golf balls in game enclosures and from high mountains, we putt on the roofs of castles, and the four-hole golf course (Leopard Mystery), the runway (Leopard Strip) and the Fly-in Castle are all connected.
  • The World of Game Farms
    The majority of the approximately 10 000 game farms in the world are in South Africa. The game-farm lifestyle is a part-of-nature lifestyle. It offers a unique environment in which to relax and de-stress, to think creatively, to receive therapy for the eye and the soul, and to develop your appreciation of nature and animals. People anywhere in the world can get a taste of the Shayamanzi lifestyle by logging on to www.leopard.tv.
  • The Internet World
    Our Shayamanzi game and leopard stories can be enjoyed by people anywhere in the world if they log on to our website www.leopard.tv. Our leopard characters are the beautiful, mysterious icons that help to create awareness of and appreciation for these endangered cats.

If you or your company would like to be associated with these stunning cats and stories about wildlife, you should consider becoming a subscriber to and/or advertiser on www.leopard.tv




Reproductions of Zaza’s skin can be seen on photos, videos, the internet and television, in magazines and films, and in several publications. It certainly makes more sense to create awareness of the plight of leopards in this way, rather than display yet another hunting trophy on a wall or a floor.

 We could watch for hours how Zaza washed and groomed heself like a true lady. After every meal, she would sit down, usually on a rock, wet her paw with her tongue and start washing herself thoroughly. Although Ziana’s bite marks had left scars on her face, these healed well over time and eventually made it easier to recognise her from a distance.

Zaza’s beautiful skin and the beatiful skin of a woman have much in common: both create a desire in the onlooker to touch them, but he who gives in to temptation exposes himself to serious danger, possibly even death: in the case of a leopard he could be her next meal, and in the case of a woman he could be shot by her husband! But perhaps it is the potential danger of such a touch that makes it so desirable ...

The beautiful skin of a leopard and that of a woman also both have commercial value: Thousands of tourists visit game parks to see leopards, or these animals are killed and their skins are smuggled out of the country to be sold for ridiculous sums elsewhere, and women with beautiful skins are used in advertisements to encourage people to spend thousands of rand on skin-care products. Beautiful women also make an enormous contribution to leopard awareness by wearing clothing and accessories decorated with leopard-skin print. Unfortunately there are still cultures that use real leopard skins, which could pose a threat to the survival of these beautiful animals.




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