EKATERINA ANDREEVA TALKS ABOUT LEOPARD ON KUBAN AND IN ALANIA
Next day Ekaterina shared her experience with children of the district center, Mostovskoy town. «Meeting the Leopard» interactive class took place in the local community center. It was attended by almost 100 boys and girls from district schools. Everyone was touched by a vivid presentation combined with interesting facts about leopard life, video pictures from camera traps, and experience of the TV presenter who had met leopard out in the wild. During the class children could take part in games and performances dedicated to leopard.
A similar event took place in Beslan, the Republic of North Ossetia. It’s no coincidence that Alania was also visited by the WWF-Russia Ambassador. In July 2018 two leopards were released into the wild in the Republic: Elbrus and Volna. Besides, in Ossetia the Persian leopard, known locally as the Caucasian bars, is not just another rare carnivore animal, but a symbol appearing on the Republic's coat of arms, a national emblematic character.
School No.8 met Ekaterina Andreeva with a hearty national Ossetian dance and memorable gifts.
This class was attended by even more schoolchildren than the first one. Over 150 eighth-graders from many Beslan's schools came and hung on every word about leopard, pouring forth a torrent of questions to Ekaterina and Valery Shmunk, director of the Northern Caucasus Regional Office of WWF-Russia.
Officials from the Republican Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Nature were pleased to see such a vivid involvement. The kids were fascinated to discuss, ask questions, and participate in many activities on the stage. Alan Alikov, Deputy Minister of Education of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, emphasized that such «leopardian» lessons by WWF have a huge educational and pedagogic potential, and should be adopted into the school teaching process in the Republic.
Ekaterina, in her turn, confessed that she herself learned much new from the experts during the visit.
At the end of her visit to the Caucasus, Ekaterina Andreeva summarized her experience: «I believe, these lessons offer great opportunities, because they trigger the feedback from children, who were thanking us for the lesson. I could say they were engaged from their attentive listening and many questions. The topic intrigued them dearly. We are now speaking to the younger generation, because soon they will live with the Persian leopard in the Republic. We must do our best to make children understand how significant the reintroduction project is, how beautiful the creature is, and how important it is to accept it. Once leopard lived here, but disappeared through the fault of man. Now we expect these children to help leopard to return into the Caucasian ecosystem. I, as an Ambassador of WWF, consider my mission a success. Certainly, we will continue our efforts further on, but this heartwarming feedback that I felt today cannot lie. That's why I am absolutely sure, that the Persian leopard will live in the Caucasus once again!”
“Meeting the Leopard” lessons of WWF-Russia funded by the Presidential Grant Foundation are available for download at заповедныйурок.рф. Please, download presentations, methodological guidelines, and training hand-outs, conduct the interactive lesson with children, and get a Certificate of Acknowledgment and official Diploma from WWF-Russia.
Headline photo: © Vladimir Sobolev / WWF-Russia