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Lutz, H., Hofmann-Lehmann, R., Fehr, D., Leutenegger, C., Hartmann, M., Ossent, P., et al. (1996). Liberation of the wilderness of wild felids bred under human custody: Danger of release of viral infections. Schweizer Archiv fuer Tierheilkunde, 138(12), 579–585.
Abstract: There are several felidae amongst the numerous endangered species. Means of aiding survival are the reintroduction to the wild of animals bred under the auspices of man and their relocation from densely populated to thinly populated areas. It is unlikely that the dangers of such reintroduction or relocation projects have been examined sufficiently in respect to the risks of virus infections confronting individuals kept in zoos or similar situations. This report presents infections may be expected to occur when relo- three examples to illustrate that accidental virus cating and reintroducing wild cats. The first example is the reintroduction of captive snow leopards. Zoo bred snow leopards may be infected with FIV, a virus infection that is highly unlikely to occur in the original hirnalayan highlands of Tibet and China. A second example is of several cases of FIP that occured in European wild cats bred in groups in captivity. The third example mentioned is the relocation of hons from East Africa where all the commonly known feline viruses are wide-spread to the Etosha National Park. In the latter, virus infections such as FIV, FCV and FPV do not occur. The indiscriminate relocation and reintroduction of the wild cats mentioned here harbours a potential of undesirable consequences.