This week the world lost a true tiger and Amur leopard champion. Dr John Lewis, wildlife and zoo veterinarian, died unexpectedly, a life cut short.
John made an enormous contribution to wild tiger and Amur leopard conservation (and plenty of other species too) by his expertise, knowledge and compassion. He was the founder of Wildlife Vets International and organisation devoted to providing veterinary support and training for endangered species conservation in partnership with governments and NGOs across the world. John was a partner since 1985 in the International Zoo Veterinary Group, the largest full-time freelance zoological veterinary practice in the world.
With WildCats forerunners, 21st Century Tiger and ALTA, John Lewis was a constant advisor and participant in several of the funded projects, assisting WCS and ZSL in the Russian Far East with veterinary support for wildlife health monitoring and radio-collaring. In Sumatra, he was involved in training local vets and conservation staff to deal with wildlife emergencies. He was instrumental in producing the first-ever official Veterinary Guidelines for the Handling of Sumatran Tigers in Conflict in 2012 and many more crucial publications. In recent years John has established an online resource for tiger veterinary medicine and treatment.
John leaves an amazing legacy through his body of work, the practical knowledge that he passed on to countless other vets and field staff and his contributions to science. Our condolences go out to all his family and friends at this time.
These are just some of the photos from the archive of John, from field trips to representing WVI at talks with the 21st Century Tiger and ALTA team.