Yury Darman, Director of the WWF Russia Amur branch, received the title of leopard Keeper on his 60th birthday, 30 September. He took charge of male Far Eastern leopard codenamed Leo 60M, and named his "godson" Brave.
"This man [Yury Darman] was one of the founders of our national park. Under his leadership in the early 2000s, WWF first started raising public awareness of the critical state of the Far Eastern leopard population, which we are continuing to work on successfully together to this day," said Tatyana Baranovskaya, director of Land of the Leopard National Park.
"We are glad that all the groundwork laid by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has proven useful to Land of the Leopard. The national park is becoming a major landmark of the southwest Primorye Territory," Yury Darman said.
For almost forty years, Yury Darman has been working for the conservation of the Amur River basin. He was directly involved in the creation of Land of the Leopard and Bikin national parks, Norsky Nature Reserve, and federal and regional wildlife sanctuaries. He has been Director of the WWF Russia Amur branch in Vladivostok since 2001.