Sergei Ivanov attends the opening ceremony for the Narvinsky Tunnel

Sergei Ivanov attends the opening ceremony for the Narvinsky Tunnel

28 March 2016

On March 26, Sergei Ivanov, Chair of the Far Eastern Leopards Supervisory Board, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office attended the opening ceremony for the Narvinsky Tunnel, which was built as part of a programme to preserve the Far Eastern leopard population.


“Indeed, I think it’s safe to say that we have built Russia’s first eco-tunnel that will serve both people and cars, increase traffic safety and make life easier for the wonderful Far Eastern animals, that is, not only leopards but also tigers, whose number has recently increased,” Sergei Ivanov said at the opening ceremony.


The Narvinsky Tunnel is on a section of the Khasan-Razdolnoye Motorway that runs through a narrow corridor between two parts of Land of the Leopard National Park. The motorway, which divided the predators’ migration routes, will now run through the tunnel, while the animals will be able to migrate without crossing the motorway.


Experts hope the animals will start crossing the motorway above the tunnel very soon. Ivanov asked experts to monitor this.


During his visit to the Primorye Territory, Sergei Ivanov was also shown around the construction site for Land of the Leopard National Park’s administration building and met with ecologists, veterinarians and senior officials of the FSB Border Guards Department for the Primorye Territory. With the veterinarians, he talked about the rehabilitation of Leo 80M, who seriously injured three toes after falling into a poacher’s trap in June 2015.


The park employees who are responsible for the animal said the leopard was rapidly becoming adjusted to living in the wild but may need one more surgery to remove the remaining phalanges, which will leave the cat limping. In this case, it would not survive in the wild and would therefore be sent to a zoo. So far, Leo 80M can climb trees and even kills deer with his healthy paw.