Vision, Mission & Values

Our Vision | Panthera Africa Our Mission | Panthera Africa Our Values | Panthera Africa

Our Vision

A world where people, animals and nature
are equally respected and acknowledged
through kindness, compassion, generosity and unconditional love

Our Mission

Panthera Africa is a sanctuary for Big Cats and people.
We create a secure, safe and prosperous home for captive Big Cats and raise awarness about ethical and holistic animal treatment.

This we do through:

  • educational visits and programs
  • volunteer program
  • educational and inspirational presentations
  • connecting people with themselves through being with animals and nature

Our Values

We care

  • Respectful towards each other and the animals and nature
  • Are inclusive
  • Take responsibility
  • With unconditional love

We are open minded

  • Inspire and motivate each other
  • Accept each other without judgement
  • Practice spirituality; meditation & animal communications

We are creative

  • Find solutions
  • Take actions and make things happen!
  • Constantly strive for improvement and new ideas
  • Do everything with excitement

Who we are


From a dream to a reality!!

Your calling is something that moves you like nothing else in life. It's something you're attracted to, something you're passionate about, and it fills you with joy and sets your heart on fire when you do it!"

Co Founder Lizaene Cornwall

While providing, managing and working closely with eight different species of predators, I observed and experienced each species' uniqueness and capabilities, and realised that protecting and caring for big cats is my calling in life. The foundation for Panthera Africa was laid, and the desire to rescue and care for the big cats in need powered my already big love, passion and admiration for them!

My eagerness to educate myself led me to learn about the truth about captive breeding, exploitation of big cats and illegal wildlife trade. Through my story and amazing connection with my ambassador animals, I aim to reach the hearts of thousands so everyone can understand how amazing these animals are, and that they should be respected and protected.

Lizaene Cornwall


Founders: Cathrine S. Nyquist & Lizaene Cornwall

Co Founder Cathrine S. Nyquist – AKA Cat

My journey

I used to be one of those typical business ladies with a degree in business and finance, climbing the career ladder, enjoying the jet set life with wining and dining, and having the freedom to travel the world. In September 2011 I was going to start what I was sure was my dream job – a broker in the most up and coming commercial real estate company in Oslo. Two weeks before start up, I sat on a plane to South Africa and was going to volunteer at a breeding project. Little did I know that this choice was going to change my life in every possible way.

After two additional trips to the project, I permanently moved to South Africa in May 2012, and started to assist Lizaene with all her tasks. My days were quickly filled with lots of work and the best thing of all – a lot of indescribable animal time. I was living in a magical world, falling in love every single day with three small furry friends that captured my heart and soul. Little did I know that one of the lions I fell in love with was going away to a breeding and trading farm, and the thought of this place's possible connection with the canned hunting industry tore my world apart. However hard this separation was, I am grateful for the fire this little lion started inside of me, - to save him and all the other lions that are a part of this unethical industry.

Now, 2 years later, here I am starting my own project and following my dream of saving the big cats. I feel truly blessed to have found my purpose in life, and that I can now make use of my experience from the business world to do what I have dreamt of for so long – uniting for the survival of the lions that have stolen my heart and soul.

Cathrine S. Nyquist – AKA Cat


About Panthera Africa

animals and humans in harmony

Panthera Africa is a non-profit company (NPC no; 2014/002629/08) founded by Lizaene Cornwall and Cathrine S. Nyquist. The name Panthera Africa is inspired by the passion Lizaene and Cathrine have for the four pantheras; panthera leo – the lion, panthera pardus – the leopard, panthera onca - the jaguar and panthera tigris – the tiger.

Panthera Africa is an environmentally friendly sanctuary for any captive bred big cats, where they will be protected and prosper for the rest of their lives.

One of Panthera Africa's main purposes is to be an educational platform where we create awareness about conditions big cats face in captivity, and how animal welfare and enrichment play a vital role in giving them the best captive life possible. We are a true sanctuary where no cub petting, breeding or trading takes place. We are a blue print of how a non-profit sanctuary, focusing on animal welfare, can become self-sufficient, and we aim to change all breeding facilities into sustainable ethical projects.

Panthera Africa believes in the connection between both environmental and wildlife conservation, and aims to become the first "green" big cat sanctuary in South Africa, and run solely on solar energy.

Panthera Africa has found its 40 hectare paradise with a beautiful home for the animals, the owners and the many volunteers visiting. The land is filled with lots of large trees, a natural spring and an amazing 360 degree mountain view!

We strongly believe in the saying "In union there is strength" - and by standing together, human and animal, we believe in the possibility of a prosperous future for the big cats, and we take pride in 'speaking' on their behalf.

About Panthera Africa

Who We Are

Panthera Africa Pride

Our pride consists of Pardus, Neptune, Achilles, Jubatus, Obi, Oliver, Zakara, Jade, Lei-ah, Elsa, Arabella, Raise, Maya, Lucy, Cody, Amy, Jack and Max. And of course our house pride Kira, Neo, Tarzan, Leonardo and Scorgo!


Did you know:

  • Leopards are very agile, and can run over 60 km/h, leap nearly 7 meters and jump over 3 meters high?
  • Leopards are very adaptable and are found in sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, the Himalayas, Russia, China, and Sri Lanka
  • Black (melanistic) leopards are actually a very dark brown and have their own unique pattern of rosettes
  • Leopards in the Cape Mountains are unique pygmy forms only half the size of the more common leopards
  • The word “Leopard” is a combination of “Leo” (lion) and “Pard-us” (panther)
  • #ifakeit is a campaign that is raising awareness and money to replace real Leopard skins with fake ones for African tribes

Leopards Pardus born 28 March 2012 & Zorro born30 November 2012


Pardus (Born 28 March 2012) – Pardus was the only cub in the litter and a couple of hours old when her mother rejected her. She was dehydrated and struggled for 3 days before starting to drink, and she has kept her fighting spirit ever since. Even though she is small of size, beautiful and loving, it is her cheeky personality that makes her unique.

Zorro (30 November 2012 - 5 December 2015) – Zorro is one of two boys that were hand-reared as their mother showed no interest in raising them and left them outside in the rain. His brother sadly passed away, and therefore we introduced him to Pardus. He is a big boy, yet has the softest of hearts, gorgeous strong features, and he loves to play. Unfortunately Zorro passed away due to surgery complications, but his kindness and forgiveness will forever live in our hearts and inspire us in many years to come. Rest in peace, our 'gentle giant'.



Did you know:

  • Tigers show their affection by chuffing?
  • There are 3,200 tigers left in the wild and at least 5,000 tigers in captivity in the United States
  • A group of tigers is known as an “ambush” or a “streak”
  • Tigers are more cooperative than lions. When a tiger crosses paths with another tiger while hunting, they’ll often share the kill instead of fighting over it
  • Tigers have been known to imitate the call of other animals to successfully attract prey

Arabella born 1 April 2012 & Raise given birthday 29 july 2009


Arabella (Born 1 April 2012) – Arabella, or Bella as she is called, was raised by a very good friend of the owners, Chanel. At about two months of age, Bella became very ill and contracted a virus in her brain. She stayed in intensive care for three weeks, and was given a less than 20% chance of survival. But with lots of love and care, little Bella pulled through and has now grown into a beautiful and gentle tiger who is small in size, but big at heart.

Raise (Given birthday – 29 July 2009) – He (no name at that stage) was living with Bella and her brother Aries, along with 8 other tigers. To our devastation, Aries was mistaken for another tiger and killed for the tiger bone trade. Even though our hearts were broken, it was amazing to see how this remaining tiger stepped up and became a brother and friend to Bella. For this reason, Cat and Liz decided to keep him with her and call him Raise – to Raise awareness for the tigers.



Did you know:

  • Lions are the only social cats of the big cats and live together in a pride?
  • There are less than 20,000 lions left in the wild, yet they are not officially listed as Endangered
  • There are hundreds of white lions in captivity and only 13 white lions living in the wild

Lions- Neptune, Jubatus, Achilles & Shani, Obi, Oliver

Oliver (Born 11 October 2011) – Oliver is a while lion, he was raised by the owners with 4 other lions, including Obi at the previous project. They had to go back to their owners at 10 months of age, but we knew the goodbye was not for forever. The owners put the boys in an enclosure with 9 other lions and left them to fend for themselves, often struggling to get their fare share of food.. Thankfully, as soon as the idea of Panthera Africa was born, so was the realization that Cat and Liz can get their lion boys back! It was a hard and testing process, but now they are safely at Panthera Africa and will live out the rest of their days in prosperity.

Obi (Born 27 October 2011) – Obi is a split lion, and has the most remarkable eyes! He was raised with 4 other lions, including Oliver, but was the youngest and smallest of the 5. As a young cub Obi was always the smaller and weaker of the cubs, and fell ill at about two weeks of age. His urge to fight to live pulled him through and he became the stealer of many hearts. The owners took Obi and Oliver back at 10 months of age and after 2 years, Cat and Liz went to find them. They found Obi and to their devastation saw the condition he was in. He was very thin and could barely walk, but after receiving immediate vet help, his condition started to improve slightly. He has a Vitamin A deficiency that was not treated for by his previous owners and the malnourishment contributed to this being a permanent condition. Obi will never fully recover, but with love, care and continuous medication his health can be improved and his heart and days will be filled with joy.

Neptune (Born 8 November 2010) – Neptune's nickname is Skapie (little lamb) as he is white as a lamb and made bleat sounds as a cub. He has grown into a gorgeous male lion with the kindest eyes, quirky personality, and your heart melts every single time he comes and "tells" you a story.

Jubatus (Born 9 June 2009) – Jubatus is a split lion, which means he carries both the white and brown lion gene. At the age of 8 months Jubatus developed a Vitamin A deficiency, and due to a wrong diagnosis by the vets, he became paralysed in his back legs and needed rehabilitation on a daily basis for many weeks. Today he still gets his Vitamin A injections, but he is fully grown, healthy and you can feel his gratitude through his loving character.

Achilles (Born 3 August 2009) – Achilles is known as the gentle giant beacuse of his huge size and his soft heart. After 13 months of age, one of his testicles had still not descended and according to the vet this could become cancerous, and therefore he was castrated. As he was living together with Jubatus we were advised by the vets to castrate Jubatus as well to avoid possible dominancy problems. Due to the lack of testosterone neither of them has grown a mane, however, they still are the most handsomest "boys".

Shani (Born 29 September 2011) – Shani was only a week old and was suffering from severe diarrhea when she was brought to us. She quickly became dehydrated and needed to be put on a drip immediately. There were some days that we did not know if she would make it, but she was and still is a strong fighting lioness, and recovered perfectly. Shani is a proper tomboy, but when you pass through her high "walls", you find a soft hearted, loving and affectionate girl.

Jade (Born 17 June 2010) – Jade and her sister Je’taime were originally raised by Lizaene at a previous project, but were separated from her when they were a year old. After 5 years of following their journey, Lizaene knew it was time to bring them home. Sadly, when Cat and Liz arrived to fetch the girls, they found out that Je’taime had been killed in a lion fight a few months earlier.
Jade’s talks, pretty face and strong female presence is felt throughout the sanctuary, and she often lays on top of her house and shares her powerful voice to join the roars of the boys!

Zakara (10 August 2011) – Zakara was brought to Panthera Africa with Jade, as they had been living together at their previous home. Zakara was named by Liz and Cat, meaning of inspiration, hope, and guidance. Although she had a rough start to her life, she has a beautiful soul, and the most stunning eyes that seem to see right through you. She is quite a playful girl and loves to get enrichment, especially loving to play with tyres! As Zakara’s date of birth is unknown, she was given the birthday of August 10th - International Lion Day.

Lei-ah (17 July 2015) – Lei-ah had a bit of a troublesome start to her life and nearly passed away, but as her name indicates – she was saved by God and pulled through! Lei-ah is the pure definition of love and innocence, and when spending time with her you will be gifted by seeing everything through a child’s eyes again!

Elsa (Born 21 March 2016) – In April when we arrived at the game lodge to relocate Lei-ah, we were informed of a cub that was born three weeks earlier. She was born from the same mother and father as Lei-ah, and once again there were concerns with regards to the dad not accepting and wanting the cubs. Elsa was therefore hand reared and immediately when we saw her we knew that she will join our pride to live with her older sister Lei-ah. Elsa is a brave and determined girl, who will share her strength and love with the rest of the lion pride!


Black Backed Jackals

Did you know that Black Backed Jackals are the most lightly built jackal and they are considered to be the oldest living member of the genus Canis? "

Black back Jackals- Maya, Luyy & Cody

Lucy and Cody (Born 10 Aug 2013) – Lucy and Cody are brother and sister and were rescued only a couple of weeks old. Their mother was killed in a veld fire on a farm and the owner of the farm tried to take care of them. However, she soon discovered that it was not easy to take care of these predators, and therefore relocated them to us. Cody is a soft hearted, yet shy boy and takes his time before warming up to people. Lucy is very skittish and keeps her distance, however comes close when treats are offered. They love to dig, play and often get into mischievous trouble.

Maya (Born 21 Aug 2013) – Maya and her brother were the only two to survive from a litter of four. They came at an age of 2 days and weighed approx. 109grams. Her brother died of a heart aneurysm and Maya was very sad and lonely. When Cody and Lucy arrived, it was a present sent from heaven and they soon became a little family of three. Maya has soulful eyes with a happy-go-lucky personality, and she gets overly excited every time she sees Cat and Lizaene.



Did you know:

  • Caracals are known for their ability to capture birds by leaping 2 m (6.6 ft) or more into the air from a standing start?
  • Caracals can reach up to 80 km/h (50mph) and are fast and strong enough to bring down an ostrich!
  • Caracals are listed as of "Least Concern", but are still considered pests to farmers throughout their range and their numbers are in decline. Education is important in order to help humans live alongside these small, yet fierce and agile predators

Caracals- Amy, Jack & Max

Amy (Born 4 April 2010) – Amy and her siblings were rejected by their mother and were found out in the heat dehydrated. She was the only one to survive, so at a young age she got introduced to Jack. She has grown into a proper "lady" caracal with a big shoe fetish. Amy tends to keep to herself, but loves to play with toys, shoes and water.

Jack (Born 23 Septmeber 2009) – Jack was only a couple of days old when he arrived and it did not take long before Lizaene fell head over heels in love. Jack is very quiet, relaxed and loving, and he loves to rub up against objects, and always comes running when hearing voices.

Max (Born 26 March 2012) – Max was one of three kittens and after his brother passed away and his sister was relocated to a new owner, Max became a brother to Pardus, the black leopard. They grew up to together, but Pardus became too strong and playful for Max, so he got introduced to Jack and Amy. Max is very curious, playful and loves to cuddle and play with Amy and Jack.


Our House Residents

House residents. Scorgo

Scorgo ( Born 12 September 2002 ) – Scorgo has been with Lizaene since he was only a couple of weeks old and he has guided and helped her through all these years. When Lizaene worked at the previous project where she used to raise cubs, Scorgo was her right hand man and helped her to teach the cubs manners and social skills. Scorgo has raised most of the animals at Panthera Africa and his wisdom, knowledge and love has touched and inspired hearts of both two and four legged friends.

House residents. Neo

Neo ( Born 17 October 2014 ) - They say every feeling and thought that you have is somehow a signal from the universe... When Lizaene got up this morning she had a feeling that we should visit our local animal welfare shelter. On arrival she immediately noticed a kitten in a wendy house and the forces of nature pulled her excited heart closer. That's when we saw this tortoise shell tubby kitten, named Maya. She was rescued from a local honey factory where she was trying to fight off two German shepherds for food. Without a doubt her brave and cheeky personality shone through and we knew she would be the newest member of our pride

On our way home we were thinking about all the new beginnings we are granted in life, and that now she is also given a new beginning, this is why we decided to name her Neo which means "New beginnings"<3

House residents. Kira

Kira ( 8 August 2015 ) - In October 2015 we made our monthly trip to the vet to buy predator supplement and Neo's cat food. For an unexplainable reason Lizaene asked the vet how are the adoptions going and if there are any dogs up for adoption, and in fact they knew of a puppy that was looking for a home, but had no details to her. Later that evening a very good friend came to present a sunset yoga class and said she found a puppy and was looking for a home for her...

Could this be the same puppy??

Our good friend was driving home from work and saw a homeless man with two adult dogs and a small ill looking puppy. She stopped and questioned him about the puppy and he said that he didn't want the puppy and wanted to get rid of her. The thought occurred that he was on his way to the river to possibly throw her in, as she found him walking on the other side of town mere streets away from the river. She immediately said she will take the puppy and the man was happy to give her away. She went straight to the vet as the puppy was severely dehydrated, thin and very small for her age. The vet gave her an examination, deworming and prescribed the right food to get her back to health.

A week later at yoga class we met, exchanged our stories and in fact it was the same puppy!!

Lizaene and Cat felt that this was all meant to be, and decided to go and meet her! And after looking into her precious eyes the choice was easy - we decided to adopt this beautiful girl and unite her with the rest of the Panthera Africa pride.

We called her Kira which means beam of light, beloved and the one who people look up too

House residents. Tarzan

Tarzan ( 9 November 2015 ) - Tarzan made his appearance the night before we relocated Jade and Zakara. We heard a meow outside the window where we stayed, looked out and saw his gorgeous face. He jumped in the window, made himself at home and never left our side ever since! We fell in love and the signs were clear that he wanted to come with us and join our pride! Tarzan is a true loverboy with his loud purrrring, and a very brave and cheeky kitten who makes his presence felt!

House residents. Leonardo

Leonardo aka Leo ( Born 1 September 2016 ) - Leonardo was rescued from a farm worker who had five puppies but did not want any of them. A dear friend of ours rescued all the puppies and we decided to adopt one as a friend for Kira. He is a brave and loving companion and he brings joy to everyone he meets.

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