The World’s Most Wanted Leopard

In search of a near-mythical creature 

Photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn travels from Africa to Azerbaijan in search of the highly endangered Caucasian leopard. This near-mythical creature is on the brink of extinction in a land of remarkable biodiversity and stark contrasts between ancient heritage and rapid modernisation.

In a feature-length documentary created by Ginkgo Agency and distributed on Nat Geo WILD’s #MissionCritical strand, Steirn is joined by an eclectic group of experts including an African tracker, a Russian scientist and the local leopard man. Will he capture the first photographic evidence of Europe’s last leopard?

Promoting awareness and education

The documentary aired on Nat Geo WILD’s #MissionCritical strand in over 27 different territories, raising awareness about the importance of leopard conservation in the Caucasus ecoregion. The results led to Azerbaijan hosting the inaugural Caucasus Cat Summit and the government committing to prioritise leopard conservation and awareness. Azerbaijan joined the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a result of the documentary’s findings, while WWF Azerbaijan also benefited from the boost in awareness. The International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA) continues to promote awareness and education regarding the Caucasian leopard.