What happens behind the scenes

The work of Wildlife Vets International would not be possible without the support of The International Zoo Veterinary Group, which provides us with administrative support and other services. Based in the UK, IZVG is the world’s largest fulltime freelance zoological veterinary practice. IZVG partners, Dr John Lewis and Andrew Greenwood, are Veterinary Directors of WVI. IZVG researcher, Olivia Walter, is WVI’s Development Manager.

Wildlife Vets International is at the forefront of wildlife and conservation medicine capable of exerting a profoundly positive influence on attempts to ensure species survival globally.

Olivia is eminently well qualified to manage WVI affairs. Following an Honours degree in Zoology at Edinburgh University, she started work as a small mammal keeper at ZSL London Zoo, before moving to the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Animals in the UAE. She then returned to ZSL as a zoo population manager before taking a desk job with the British and Irish Association for Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA). During her time with BIAZA, Olivia obtained her MSc in Conservation Ecology from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecoloty.

Her work with BIAZA involved helping members exceed the welfare, conservation, education and research standards set by the Zoo Licensing Act, as well as representing good zoos to the public, media and policy decision makers.

Throughout her career, Olivia has had a special interest in managed breeding programmes, and in particular how to build connections between these and local conservation efforts on the ground. Her responsibilities have included being International Stud Book Keeper for the Amur leopard, which is a key species for WVI.

In between her professional posts, Olivia has also found time to be a tour guide in India, a cook in Zambia and a researcher for Wetlands International in Indonesia and the Wildlife Conservation Society in Cambodia.

Olivia took on administration for WVI in 2009, on behalf of IZVG. As well as publicising the work of WVI through lectures and social media, she also provides IZVG clients with guidance on animal welfare, management and conservation. In 2015 she was invited to accompany an anti-poaching patrol in Sumatra, where WVI is working to save tigers, and had the chance to experience first-hand the threats to their survival.

The Working Committee

WVI is extremely grateful for the hard work of our volunteer Working Committee. The committee is made up of marketing and publicity professionals whose remit is to help WVI raise general, non-project specific, funding. This has so far largely involved targeting the UK veterinary profession and has been very successful to date.

The composition of the Working Committee complements the conservation and veterinary focus on the administrative side. As a result, the committee’s work is invaluable in keeping WVI focused on how to achieve our overall aims.

Current members are Ken Elliott, Peter Coe, Sharon Miller and Debbie Nicholls.

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On Friday 19th May, hundreds and thousands of primary schoolchildren all over the UK will be attempting to set a new Guinness™ World Record by taking part in the largest sponsored walk

Saving some of the planet’s rarest creatures from extinction needs expert help, and WVI can supply that when and where it’s needed.

Steve Leonard, Veterinary Surgeon and TV Presenter


WVI is indebted to the generous individuals and organisations whose ongoing support - financial, moral and in kind - allows us to deliver our conservation objectives.