Panjo farm in another stand-off

2015-09-23 18:00
Justin Fernandes and one of the big cats. (Facebook)

Justin Fernandes and one of the big cats. (Facebook)

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Johannesburg - Yet another attempt was made to take Panjo, the famous wandering tiger, and his other feline friends from the Limpopo predator park they call home.

Big cat enthusiast Justin Fernandes said a convoy with trailers, accompanied by police cars and a vet, descended on the Jugomaro Predator Park between Groblersdal and Marble Hall on Wednesday morning.

He demanded the paperwork allowing their removal which comes as a result of prolonged financial complications.

However, he said the paperwork was not forthcoming.

He said his mother Rosa charged at a private security guard and took his dart gun from him. She was maced in the process.

20 big cats darted

''They didn't have any paperwork. There is no legal side - it is all the same crap as they did the last time.''

In July, a lawyer called SD Nel arrived with a team which began darting 20 of the big cats, including Panjo who had once slipped out of Justin's father Goosey Fernandes's car and temporarily disappeared.

In July the Fernandes's were not only upset about the seizures of the animals, but the conditions in which they would be transported.

The animals were finally released back to Fernandes and slept off the transportation sedative.

Justin said on Wednesday there was no sheriff of the court or supporting documents for the latest attempted seizures and posted a video appeal for help on his Facebook page.

‘They must leave the cats alone’

He told News24 the family had taken the matter to court, but had also applied for it to be transferred to Bloemfontein, instead of Mpumalanga . He believes there may be collusion to take the cats away from them.

He also keeps 12 wolves.

He explained they started rescuing the cats years ago, but hit financial difficulties. When Panjo became famous, they applied for a bank loan to open a restaurant to cater for the unexpected visitor arrivals.

However, a property deal became complicated and when liquidators became involved, the legal fees skyrocketed.

''They must leave the cats alone.  The liquidation must come to an end and that's it.''

As for the tigers, he said, ''One or two of the tigers got déjà vu and freaked out'', but were fine, especially 7-year-old Panjo.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  animals

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