Many thanks for visiting Mission Leopard and if you are new to this site then reading this page is a good way to start. My name is Jack Kinross, I’ve been involved in wildlife protection through various guises for many years and I currently coordinate WildTiger which is a private sector entity with an emphasis on countering wildlife trafficking. Mission Leopard is an initiative which you can understand further by going through the menu and reading updates at the Home page.
I still get asked many questions about my time with Asa (pictured above, you can read about the image and more HERE), our journey together for him to live wild. In the course of time I’ll have more in a larger body of work but I have started telling stories at Touching the Mountain including images and events I’ve never published before. along with those of other leopards but for now I just want to touch on just a few of the significant events which have influenced my motivation.
The first was in 2003 when I was in Kathmandu shortly after 109 leopard skins had been seized in the city. I was in a discussion with WWF Nepal head, the late Dr Chandra Gurung, he said that sadly there was little interest in the seizure, the leopard was not high priority. Nepal was in turmoil with the insurgency and like any war torn state it was in survival mode. Chandra, an internationally recognized conservationist who was tragically killed in a helicopter accident explained that so critical was the situation with tiger poaching that all available resources had to be poured into protecting the great striped cat. Nearly 20 years later of course that continued effort has born fruit as Nepal has successfully recovered its tiger population but for the leopard the situation is still not good as the country still remains a trafficking hub for leopard body parts and faces continual challenges regarding human-leopard conflict.
The second incident was just a few years ago in a rugged hill district where very sadly fifteen children had been killed by leopard. Three days after the most recent tragedy I was at the scene when the grandmother of the little four year boy who had been killed, approached me crying and then fell into my arms, sobbing uncontrollably for many minutes, her grief and sadness I could feel in every pore of my body. A few days later after an intense collaborative effort the leopard was caught, the big cat did not survive the ordeal, something my thoughts still see, something I will never forget.
There have been many other experiences, I remember a leopard giving its last roar before dying of snare trap injuries and there was the entire family still in a state of post traumatic stress several years after the youngest member was killed by leopard. Another incident in mid 2022 is also still fresh in my memory, where a leopard which had been shot before being brought to the rescue/recovery station we had set up in Bardiya National Park, west Nepal. The leopard died soon after arrival, I’ve touched on this further HERE, the magnificent male big cat one of three which influenced me a lot due to their different plights during a two week period. These collective experiences have given me insights that in many ways I do not wish for but they add up to a determination to keep striving for a better coexistence between people and leopards.
Mission Leopard is the result. The work on the ground evolves with leopard related efforts involving coexistence strategies, counter poaching/trafficking and rehabilitation/rewilding. This site will continue to evolve and expand concurrently with the ground work. I hope by reading this you can consider you own role in support of the leopard and the people attempting to coexist with them. I thank you for your care, please keep updated by visiting this site regularly.
Best wishes, Jack
Fast link to ‘Touching the Mountain’ where you can give immediate support for our work is HERE