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Veterinary Information for Wildlife Vets and Biologists Working with Wild Tigers

Wildlife Vets International has always been closely involved with tiger conservation around the world. We currently support projects in Russia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and India which provide vital veterinary input to local tiger conservation efforts.

Our access to a wealth of expertise and experience in this area means WVI is in a unique position to help tigers, and those working to save them, wherever they are found.

The website, which launched in 2019, is a free, reliable and up-to-date source of information on many aspects of wild tiger health, and a platform for basic online training. It also has great potential to build connections between vets working on similar issues but hundreds of miles apart.

As the first of its kind, we hope it will also be a model for similar initiatives for other species in the future.

The Wild Tiger Health Centre is a website designed and edited by renowned big cat expert, Dr. John Lewis, and supported by WVI. It provides an evolving platform for the dissemination of up-to-date and peer-reviewed information on veterinary issues relating to wild tigers, accessible free to all interested conservation professionals. With internet access now so widely available, the WTHC will facilitate pooling of global expertise in a way which has simply not been possible before.

Although a website can’t replace the value of in situ workshops, it can provide a very wide range of basic information, at minimal cost, to a large number of vets and biologists working in the field, and encourage much greater exchange of experience. A considerable number of leading tiger experts have already expressed their willingness to contribute to the project as it develops.

The aims of the WTHC are to:

  • Disseminate up to date information on wild tiger health issues to professionals working in all range states. Areas covered include basic tiger biology, field anaesthesia techniques, mitigating tiger-human conflict, rehabilitation of injured and orphaned tigers, sampling for health screening, principles of reintroduction and translocation, pathology and clinical aspects of disease in wild tigers.
  • Provide basic online training, making a wide range of relevant protocols available;
  • Connect tiger vets from different tiger range states to facilitate the sharing of expertise;
  • Provide a model which could be used in the provision of veterinary support to other species, now that internet access is sufficiently universal.

Initial contributors to the Wild Tiger Health Centre include:

  • Alexeevka Tiger Rehabilitation Centre, Russia;
  • Primorski State Academy of Agriculture, Russia;
  • WildTeam UK;
  • Debbie Martyr of Fauna & Flora International Indonesia;
  • Dr Jane Hopper of the Aspinall Foundation;
  • Dr Dale Miquelle of WCS Russia;
  • Dr John Goodrich, Tiger Director at Panthera;
  • Dr Martin Gilbert of Cornell University;
  • Dr Bongot Radjagoekgoek of Taman Safari, Indonesia;
  • Dr Mahbub Alam of WildTeam Bangladesh;
  • Dr Stuart Patterson of the Royal Veterinary College, London,  
  • Dr Amir Sadaula – veterinary surgeon to Chitwan National Park, Nepal,
  • The Zoological Society of London-Russia.

We are very grateful to the following for helping fund the development of the WTHC:

  • Chessington World of Adventures
  • Colchester Zoo: Action for the Wild Fund
  • Hertfordshire Zoological Society (formerly Friends of Paradise Wildlife Park)
  • International Zoo Veterinary Group
  • Photography 4 Big Cats CIC
  • Shepreth Wildlife Conservation
  • The Big Cat Sanctuary
  • Twy cross Zoo

As numbers of any endangered species get smaller, the risk of a disease like Canine Distemper Virus wiping them out becomes very real.

Learn more about our Tiger Health Programme

We believe that the five core pillars set out below create a very effective framework for saving one of the planet’s most magnificent animals.