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Unwanted perfume or aftershave? Give it to the tigers, lions and other big cats at The Wildlife Heritage Foundation

By KentOnline reporter

Did you know leopard's love Intimately Beckham, but the African lion's don't call it their favourite?

Some of the most seductive and sweetest scents linger around the Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Smarden near Ashford and that's because the animals appreciate perfumes and aftershaves.

The sanctuary is appealing for unwanted bottles of fragrance to liven up the animal's enclosures.

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Artur the Amur Leopard

Artur the Amur Leopard

KM reporter Josie Hannett went to see the big cats at the WHF, with her donation of David Beckham's aftershave to see how the animals reacted.

VIDEO: We put David Beckham to the test.

While Manzi the African lion had a sniff but wasn't too interested, the cheetah's took the opportunity to rub and roll against the logs it was sprayed on.

The Amur leopard Artur also had a rub up against it, but didn't love it as much as the cheetah's.

WHF keeper Ricky Reino

WHF keeper Ricky Reino


Keeper Ricky Reino, said: "Quite a common technique of enriching lots of species in zoo collections is by putting out olfactory enrichment, so that can be either natural smells like herbs and spices or man-made smells such as perfumes and aftershaves which do include some natural elements to them.

"It's fun putting them out and seeing their different reactions because some cats prefer some smells to others.

"We've got some that love Jean Paul Gaultier, some that love Playboy, and some that don't. It's always interesting to see who likes what."

Josie Hannett with keeper Ricky Reino spraying Intimately Beckham on a log in the leopard's enclosure.

Josie Hannett with keeper Ricky Reino spraying Intimately Beckham on a log in the leopard's enclosure.

The big cats aren't too fussy about their smells - though they are partial to Safari by Ralph Lauren.

Once sprayed on logs and trees the perfume evaporates, causing no harm to the animals and it's impossible for them to ingest.

Artur the Amur Leopard having a sniff of Intimately Beckham

Artur the Amur Leopard having a sniff of Intimately Beckham

It's not just aftershaves and perfumes the cats like to smell.

Manzi the lion is particularly fond of cinnamon, and has recently been enjoying a Christmas tree covered with the spice, and left in his enclosure. 

The sanctuary is home to lions, tigers, leopards and pumas, as well as several other species of big cat. 

Manzi the African lion

Manzi the African lion

It promotes and funds field conservation projects, provides a research base for people interested in the study of big cats in captivity and delivers an education programme that promotes the importance of bio-diversity and the role of the top predators.

The 32-acre site has more than 50 cats, from the smallest in the world - the Rusty Spotted cat - to the largest in the world, the Amur Tiger.

The WHF also has the most endangered big cat on the planet, the Amur Leopard.

Manzi wasn't too keen on David Beckham's aftershave

Manzi wasn't too keen on David Beckham's aftershave

With just roughly 50 left in the wild and 100 in captivity, the WHF is working in conjunction with John Lewis of Wildlife Vets International on a breeding programme which will lead to reintroducing them into the wild.

The sanctuary is not open to the public on a daily basis, but offers big cat experiences and holds several open days a year. 

If you do have unwanted perfume or aftershave, post it to WHF, Headcorn Road, Smarden, Ashford, Kent TN27 8PJ or drop it off in person. 


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