An unexpected hike in insurance, along with critical illness of owner Peter James, puts the popular Rare Cat Project, Santago, under threat of closure unless money is raised for partner Jackie to continue.
A popular attraction with many photographers and the destination of many photography workshops, Santago was started in 1989 by Peter James and is now home to a variety of Clouded, Snow, African and Black Leopards as well as Puma – totalling 14 big cats.
Photographers who hold photography workshops at Santago, or have done in the past, include Keith Hughes, Chris Weston, Andy Rouse, David Hemmings, Brian Hall of EOS Experience and John Wright of Photographers on Safari.
The original aim of the project is to breed the most endangered types of leopard, particularly the clouded and snow, to be released back into the wild in an attempt to avoid their extinction.
Unfortunately, Santago have recently experienced problems with troublesome neighbours and to make matters worse Peter was diagnosed with a terminal illness just a year ago and is now in a critical state. To keep the project alive Peter's wife, Jackie, will take over the business, but she has to acquire a dangerous animal licence to allow Santago to continue. This licence requires public liability insurance, now only provided by specialist insurance companies, and initial estimates suggest this will cost over £7,000, an unexpected and dramatic increase from the previous £180 cost.
While providing 24 hour care for her husband, Jackie now has the added pressure of raising the insurance money by 31st December. If the sum is not raised, Santago is in danger of being closed down.
ePHOTOzine has stepped in to help raise awareness and prevent the project from closing.
We appealed for donations to fund the cause and help the Santago Project. We raised over £1100 for the cause. A big thank you to all the donors.