Wildlife Vets International (WVI)

Based on the news that the Amur leopards may have reduced in numbers even further than previously reported, 2012 became for Photography for Big Cats the year of the Amur Leopard. In this sense, please don't be surprised that Wildlife Vets International (WVI), which we have added this year to the selection of organisations and projects, we support, is again working to help this critically endangered species to survive in the wild .

Amur Leopard

Dr. John Lewis, one of the founders of WVI, visits the Primorski Krai region (home to the last remaining Amur leopards) once a year. He and a team of vets and scientists provide veterinary support for conservation efforts to save the critically endangered Amur leopard. Their work is to examine the leopards and other animal species in the region, including Amur tigers, in view of any diseases and other health problems, which may endanger the survival of the Amur leopards and tigers. Dr. John Lewis and WVI are also involved in the release programme around the Amur leopards, which our article about the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance (ALTA) in our November 2011 newsletter outlined.

The work of the vets with the wild populations of Amur leopards and tigers, or indeed any other endangered species is vital, as diseases may impact the possibility for them to survive as a species in the wild. Other health complications like for example inbreeding may also have an effect on the survival chances.

Another important part of WVI is the training and education of people, who work on conservation projects in the natural habitat area of the Amur leopards. This education programme provides these people with additional skills, which will help the Amur leopards and tigers, as well as other animal species in their fight for survival.

WVI relies in view of funding completely on donations from corporate supporters and donations from the public. Two of our venues (Colchester Zoo and Shepreth Wildlife Park) support WVI and so does Photography for Big Cats.

Amur Leopard Cub

So far, we have managed to raise just under £35 for WVI via the stall that we had during half-term at Colchester Zoo in February. If you like to support WVI, you can do this via the WVI link or at the fundraising events at Yorkshire Wildlife Park or at our market and fair stalls in Sevenoaks and Leeds Castle.