Eye of the tiger by Mail’s Frank

Sumatran Tiger Chester Zoo. 21--05-2011 Photograph by FRANK REID

Sumatran Tiger Chester Zoo. 21--05-2011 Photograph by FRANK REID

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MAIL photographer Frank Reid is lending his support to an international wildlife project to save endangered big cats from extinction.

Stunning pictures of tigers by Frank, the Mail’s deputy chief photographer, are being used by the charity Wildlife Vets International as part of its overseas campaign.

One of Frank's tiger pictures

One of Frank's tiger pictures

Next month, volunteers from the UK-based charity will jet out to Sumatra, in Indonesia, to track and monitor beautiful but endangered Sumatran tigers.

Led by big-cat expert Dr John Lewis, the party will refer to pictures of tigers taken in captivity by Frank to aid them in their important work.

Many of his images are also used on the charity’s website to help raise awareness of the creatures’ plight.

Frank has been photographing tigers for years and never fails to be impressed by their majestic beauty.

Hartlepool Mail Deputy Chief Photographer, Frank Reid for "Frank's Sunday Best" weekly Sunday League football video-cast.

Hartlepool Mail Deputy Chief Photographer, Frank Reid for "Frank's Sunday Best" weekly Sunday League football video-cast.

He said: “The tiger is an animal that is close to my heart.

“I don’t think we realise how close we are to allowing them to become extinct.

“Already three sub-species of tiger are extinct and it is estimated that within the next seven to 10 years the Sumatran and Amur tiger could also be extinct.

“If the use of my pictures can help raise awareness of the plight of the tiger then I’m happy and I’m proud to help Wildlife Vets International in any way.”

Olivia Walter, development manager at Wildlife Vets International, said the forthcoming trip to Indonesia will collect important information which will help the charity learn if the tigers are suffering from any diseases, one of the main threats to their survival.

“It is a really exciting project because it is in a national park with mixed use for villages and the oil and gas industry.

“It will give delegates the opportunity to catch tigers in the field, anaesthetise them and collect data and carry out tests.

“We are using Frank’s 
pictures to decorate our website and in our press releases.

“They are brilliant, really good.”

Frank took the photos at Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Kent, where he is a regular visitor.