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Nov 28, 2011

Amba’s life saving surgery


Amba’s life saving surgery

On 29th September 2010, Shepreth Wildlife Park became concerned about the health of one of their resident tigers ‘Amba’. Under the direction of zoo vet, Peter Aylmer, Amba was taken for ultrasound and x-rays and diagnosed initially with ascites, pending further test results. Over the coming weeks Amba’s condition deteriorated and Peter Aylmer drained the stomach, revealing a suspected tumour.

On 21st October 2010, Shepreth Wildlife Park arranged for the transfer of Amba to Cambridge University Vet School for surgery. This event would require extensive manpower, police assistance, the full co-operation from the Vet School and keepers, and a pile of paperwork!

A PR agent used by the Wildlife Park was contacted in advance to negotiate an exclusive deal on the story providing the surgery was successful. All members of the wildlife park team and Vet School residents and management were advised that no photographs would be allowed, unless for veterinary reasons. It was also stated that the surgery was not to appear on any social networking sites until permission was granted from the PR office at the wildlife park. A deal was eventually negotiated with the Daily Mail, who would have complete exclusivity to this story and imagery, in return for ½ page exposure and a fee which would contribute to the overall cost of Amba’s vet bill.  It was agreed that the story would not be released until the vet deemed Amba’s condition to be stable.

On 3rd November 2010, the Daily Mail released the story, which began a media frenzy from 7am that morning and continues to receive exposure today. 


Shepreth Wildlife Park

WINNER of BIAZA Award 2011 (small collection) for Best public relations project



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