Leseli is the reason the whole Bred 4 the Wild Breeding Programme began. She is the only only adult female of the group and is believed to be around 15 years old. Her name, pronounced in Sotho, Lesedi, means ‘bird of light’. She was confiscated from a Sangoma (traditional medicine-man) in Lesotho in December 2011 and brought to Raptor Rescue in KZN for a hoped-for release. Sadly she couldn’t fly as she had been kept for a length of time in a very small cage and so was subsequently transferred to the Sanctuary as a non releasable bird. Leseli has made the breeding programme possible by being the ‘surrogate’ parent to all the other programme birds. All the harvested and raised chicks have had visual contact with her to ensure that they will not imprint on the humans behind the puppet that feeds them.

Beautiful Leseli is a real lady and it is hoped that she will eventually pair and breed with the oldest male Mwezi. Time will tell.

The cage that Leseli was confiscated from.

Leseli’s rescuer visits her at her new home.