WVI is awarded funds for tigers
Wildlife Vets International would like to say thank you to The Big Cat Sanctuary and the Zoological Society of Hertfordshire for supporting our Tiger Health Programme.
Dr John Lewis’s support for staff at the PRNCO Tiger Center in Alexyevka received £3,000 which will enable John to follow up his last trip in September 2018with remote support and an on-site visit in 2019 if applicable.
Tigers are so rare now, that rehabilitation of injured and orphaned tigers is really important. The team at Alexyevka are at the cutting edge of tiger rehabilitation. It takes a huge amount of money and it is a very tricky process to rehabilitate a potential killer and the rehabilitation centre have developed an extraordinarily professional way of doing it.
Dr Lewis commented, “Their success rate is 50% when they release them back into the wild, which is always the aim, and their success rate for release is around 50%. That might sound low, but actually I consider that high. You should see some for the injuries they come in with!”
Work to finish the Wild Tiger Health Centre with information for tiger biologists and vets working on the front line of tiger conservation, will also receive £3,000 from The Big Cat Sanctuary and Zoological Society of Hertfordshire.
Dr Lewis also said, “The value of long-term funders like the BCS / ZSH makes planning ahead and budgeting for long term projects far easier. Most of the projects I am involved with are long term, and although one-off donations are immensely valuable, to have the reassurance that these organisations are in it for the long term as well gives me the continued support necessary for meaningful delivery of service.”
The Wild Tiger Health Centre was instigated and is still led by Dr Lewis. It will contain a huge range of aspects of veterinary medicine as it applies to wildlife. For example, what are the diseases of wild tigers? How do you post-mortem a wild tiger? What should you test tigers for? What poisons are used on wild tigers and can they be reversed?
Both The Big Cat Sanctuary and the Zoological Society of Hertfordshire have been supporting Dr Lewis’s work, through WVI, for many years. In fact, The Big Cat Sanctuary (formerly Wildlife Heritage Foundation) have donated over £21,000 since 2006 and Zoological Society of Hertfordshire (formerly Friends of Paradise Wildlife Park) have donated nearly £27,000.
Lynn Whitnall CEO of the Zoological Society of Hertfordshire, ZSH (Paradise Wildlife Park) and Trustee of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation (The Big Cat Sanctuary) said,
“We are very proud to support Wildlife Vets International. We have funded Dr John Lewis with projects in the Russian Far East, Sumatra and India to assist with research and field work for big and small cats as well as associated Fauna and Flora International.
We are very excited to be part of the Tiger Health Programme and the launch of a new website. The WVI team have a wealth of knowledge which will be a huge benefit to patrols, vets and NGOs working out in the field. We have worked with WVI together for many years and long may it continue.”
The funds raised have been spent on various Amur tiger and leopard conservation activities in the Russian Far East. They range from the more photogenic field trips into the forest to capture tiger and leopards with a view to collecting data and fitting them with radio collars, to the less photogenic but very important for the sustainability of conservation actions - building the Wild Tiger Health Centre website.