Save the Amur Leopard

I went to the most fascinating talk last night at Marwell Zoo.  It took me through a rollercoaster of emotions and left me wanting to tell you all about it.

Last night, Sarah Christie, who is the ZSL Carnivore Programme Manager came along to give a couple of talks.  The first was about the Amur Leopard, and the second about Tigers and more specifically the trade in tiger bones.  Sarah does a huge amount of work with an organisation called the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance (ALTA) whose mission is to help protect and secure a future for the leopards and tigers in the wild.

Spotty beautyEveryone who knows me knows that I love the big cats, but the Amur Leopard has long been one of my favourite animals.  Whenever I am volunteering up at Marwell people are always shocked to learn there are only 30-35 of these beautiful cats left in the wild, and only around 290 left in zoos around the world. 

Last night Sarah’s first presentation was all about the Amur Leopard Conservation Support Programme and work of various organisations that have come together to investigate repopulating the wild with some of these cats.  She spoke about the problems that existed – some of the more obvious ones like finding a safe location for them, as well as some of the other issues they faced which included political agendas and arguments over what constituted a pure enough breed to use. 

It was pleasing to hear about a potential location that has been found not far from where the remaining leopard live, but it will still take a long time for the next steps.  The leopards need to be brought up in the location and taught to stay away from humans to help their chance of this working.  That can be done by keeping hands off, and also through aversion techniques, however, a much harder problem is teaching the leopards to stay away from the tigers which live in the same area.

After a break, Sarah moved on to her second talk about the tigers.  Whilst the use of tiger bones in Chinese medicine was banned, the companies responsible for the tiger farms in China constantly try to overthrow the ban.  They haven’t stopped farming the tigers, and it was really sickening to hear about how they were being treated. 

One thing I found very interesting was about how ALTA are helping to educate the local communities, teaching the children to love and respect the leopards and tigers.  Helping support the work they are doing is not just about donating money – although much is needed.  The local people are heartened to see that others around the world care about the cats and ALTA can help reach out to them by showing photos and using stories about how we care.  So whatever you are doing, share the Amur Leopard emblem with the world!

Amur Logo

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8 Responses to “Save the Amur Leopard”

  1. davidlind Says:

    Very serious situation. Thanks for reporting on it.

  2. Neena Says:

    Are you a professional photographer? I like your blog!

    N

  3. Helena Says:

    Thank you! No I am very much not professional – just a hobby!

  4. davidlind Says:

    But she could be a professional if she wanted to be 🙂 sorry to hear about all the turkeys being killed icof bird flu. Had not heard anything on the news about bird flu for quite awhile and never in England. I hope you got some good traffic from StumbleUpon for the Amur Leopard. Let me know if you need any othe stumbles there (if it helps) and finally, have a great weekend. Cheers.

  5. Helena Says:

    Hehe thanks David. I did get a bit of a shock to see my normal 40-50 hits per day go up to about 150!

  6. blueseaglass Says:

    Hello! Its always nice to find the blog of a fellow animal lover – cheers

  7. rhodes Says:

    I ask all people to change thier point of view about how we protect animals on this planet, they are just disappearing because of us.

  8. Penelope Says:

    If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it! ,

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