World Vets Announces Iconic Project for Wildlife of the Galápagos Islands

World Vets marks significant milestone in efforts to protect critically endangered wildlife of the Galápagos Islands.

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Dr Cathy King, CEO of World Vets and Danny Rueda Córdova, Director of the Galápagos National Park, cut the ribbon to place the first stone for the new Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center on the Galápagos Islands. (San Cristobal Island,Galápagos)

Last week, World Vets and the Galápagos National Park signed a landmark cooperation agreement for the construction of a Wildlife Rescue, Response, Rehabilitation and Conservation Center on San Cristobal Island, home to the largest population of Galápagos sea lions in the archipelago. As part of a larger agreement, World Vets will also provide permanent veterinary support to the Galápagos National Park Rapid Response Program, provide health monitoring of endemic species and contribute substantially to the conservation of critically endangered species through field response and rescue work, conservation research, foundational capacity building and public outreach and education.  The groundbreaking ceremony for this iconic project, which was attended by numerous Park Rangers, government officials, and other agency representatives, marked a significant milestone of this multi-phase project that will contribute to the conservation of the unique biodiversity of the Galápagos Islands.


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World Vets CEO Dr Cathy King (center) and Park Rangers of the Galápagos National Park

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Danny Rueda Córdova and Dr. Cathy King sign a formal agreement of cooperation between World Vets and the Galapagos National Park.



The development of the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center will occur in two phases on adjoining properties. Phase I, underway in December 2023, will include the construction of an urgent care rescue center that will include digital radiology, ultrasound, laboratory, surgery and personnel work stations. In addition, upgrades will be made to an existing structure and sea lion holding pens to increase rescue capacity. Phase II, a full service wildlife veterinary hospital, rehabilitation center and conservation research facility (already designed), will commence following phase I and when full funding is secured.



World Vets is grateful to Danny Rueda Córdova (director of the Galapagos National Park) and the leadership of the San Cristobal Technical Unit (DUTSC) of the Galapagos National Park for their countless hours of collaboration that went into the development of this project over the last couple years. Pictured (left to right) Gabriel Vásquez, Rentao Herrera, Dr Cathy King, Jimmy Bolaños.



Recognition of Major Donors for Phase I- We are grateful for the generous support from the SeaWorld Conservation Fund and donations made in memory of Dr Jerry Brown and Joan Wattles which contribute to the Phase I Rescue Center construction, equipment, rescue work and capacity building.


If you would like to support our Wildlife Conservation and Rescue work in Galapagos you can donate through our website at  or contact us directly at

World Vets other work in Galapagos:

World Vets has been working in Ecuador for 15 years including the last several years on the Galápagos Islands. The Galápagos Islands is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the equator, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, with a population of over 33,000 people.  The many endangered and threatened wildlife species of the archipelago face a variety of significant threats including climate change, introduced species, plastics pollution and interactions with a growing human population.  In addition to wildlife rescue and conservation work, World Vets a operates a seperate full service veterinary hospital in Galápagos for domestic animals (opened in 2021).  The domestic animal (urban fauna) program is a collaboration with the Municipality of San Cristobal, the Biosecurity Agency of Galapagos and Founding Sponsor Lakfield Veterinary Group and is aimed at controlling the pet population through sterilization; proving critical veterinary services to keep pets healthy and to prevent the spread of disease; all in an effort to protect wildlife while providing a critical services for community members.