On Friday 6th September 2019 Jo, from WildCats was in Helsinki as one of the thousands of visitors attending Korkeasaari Zoo’s Night of the Cats event, or in Finnish, Kissojen Yö. This annual event is a celebration of all things cat, especially the Amur tigers and Amur leopards. Not only have Korkeasaari Zoo been long term participants in the European breeding programmes for Amur leopards and Amur tigers, but they have also been one of WildCats Conservation Alliance longest standing and biggest contributors to the projects we support in Russia and China. To date they have donated over €350,000 which is a phenomenal achievement. This year, €5 from each ticket sold to Kissojen Yö will be donated to WildCats and they are on target to smash their previous donation, meaning we can provide even more support to the projects protecting these big cats in the wild.
As well as being able to see the big cats living at the zoo, visitors got to hear about them and see them being fed and given enrichment. There were special food stalls and activities for all the family to get involved in and the fantastic colourful illuminations set up specially for this event. Additionally this year there was a display of ~100 lit torches, one for each wild Amur leopard as another atmospheric installation. This event was a fabulous way of connecting and engaging with the local community, demonstrating the positive contribution zoos are making to Amur leopard and tiger conservation and above all, having fun at the same time. We would like to say a very heartfelt kiitos!