WildlifeAmbulance and Veterinary Training

The Critically Endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) has a population of less than 400 individuals. They are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching. With such a small population remaining, every tiger is precious to the survival of the species.

There is a lack of veterinarians in Sumatra that have specific wildlife experience and skills. Wildlife veterinary teaching and training programs in veterinary faculties in Indonesia are also very under-developed.

The International Tiger Project supports the Wildlife Ambulance and teaching program. The major goals of this program are to develop high quality wildlife veterinary teaching and training, and to establish the capacity at the veterinary faculty at Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh to provide qualified wildlife veterinary services for various conservation programs in Sumatra in need. As part of this initiative, a veterinary ambulance for wildlife is now being run by the faculty.

Through support from donors including International Tiger Project, the veterinary faculty can now provide the required comprehensive and ongoing training to ensure that future veterinarians have the necessary wildlife skills to undertake vital field work. The establishment of the Wildlife Ambulance at the faculty ensures that wildlife veterinary expertise can be provided for wildlife, including Sumatran tigers.  It also allows veterinary students to become involved and gain hands on training in the field.

The Wildlife Ambulance veterinarians provide the following critical care to Sumatran tigers

  • Rescue and treatment of tigers trapped and/or injured by snares
  • Treatment of injuries sustained in human-tiger conflicts
  • Translocation of at-risk tigers
  • Surveillance of infectious diseases that potentially threaten the health of Sumatran tigers
  • Conduct post-mortems on Sumatran tigers found dead in the wild to investigate causes of death and provide sufficient data and results for legal procedures if needed.