WWF awarded villagers in Abkhazia who had discovered leopard Victoria
According to the residents, the leopard was seen three times in the evening on the outskirts of the village. An unprecedented event caused controversy among the population, including suggestions to get rid of the predator. However, one of the residents – Vadim Khintba – managed to convince fellow villagers not to kill the rare animal, but to catch him in a self-made cage, which was done.
The responsible action of the villagers was noted by the representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources, ANO "Nature Centre of the Caucasus", the Caucasus Nature Reserve and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The World Wildlife Fund awarded Vadim for this act with a nominal watch and an honorary diploma for his contribution to the implementation of the Program for the Restoration of the Persian leopard in the Caucasus. Memorable diplomas and gifts from WWF were received by other residents who had participated in the capture, as well as deputy director for science of the Ritsin relic national park Inga Tania, thanks to whom the event became known to Russian specialists.
The fact that the female Victoria, released on July 15, 2016 in the Caucasus Nature Reserve, turned out to be so far from the place of release, once again indicates the necessity to coordinate the actions of all stakeholders in order to implement the program for the restoration of this rare predator. In fact, all movements of the animal passed within a single transboundary migration corridor, which emphasizes the priority of measures to preserve it.