Vets in the Wild aims to provide veterinary care to wildlife suffering from the wildlife trade and animal-human conflict.

In parts of the world where the majority of these conflicts occur, veterinary help is not accessible or financially feasible. Therefore these animals who were harmed by humans receive sub-par medical care. Many rescue centers who take in these animals from the illegal pet trade, medicine trade, or conflict zones, barely have enough funding to provide the best animal welfare possible, let alone afford the medicine, equipment, and staff needed to treat the wildlife.

For the most part they are doing the best they can, but without a trained veterinarian and the equipment and medicine needed, an unnecessary amount of casualties and suffering occurs.

Vets In The Wild aims to fund not only a trained veterinarian and the tools they need, but also fund community development projects, as well as education programs to provide awareness of wildlife and the loss of ecosystems. We aim at reducing the risk of animal-human conflicts around the world, which will make it possible to release some of these animals back into their natural habitats once again.


  Dr. Alia Zelko BVetMed MRCVS Founder & Head Veterinarian


Dr. Alia Zelko BVetMed MRCVS

Founder & Head Veterinarian


Alia founded Vets in the Wild in 2014.

From a young age she knew she wanted to become a vet. She started her journey in her home town of Hilo, Hawaii, USA, working and volunteering with as many animal projects she could manage.

From volunteering at her local zoo, to working in a bird sanctuary, as well as working as a nurse in a small animal clinic and ranches and horse ridding centers. As she was very determined she started her first degree at the University of Hawaii at Hilo where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science by the time she was 17 years old. She then got accepted to the Royal Veterinary College in London, England where she started traveling the world every chance she got to work and volunteer in rescue centers and veterinary clinics for wildlife.

She has worked in a wildlife veterinary clinic in Thailand, as well as Australia, and has completed internships at both the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic and the Singapore Zoo, to name a few. She completed her degree in 2014 and started working for a small animal and exotics practice in London for a few months, where she confirmed that her dream was to work with wildlife. She then moved to Indonesia and started working at Wanicare Foundation in Chikananga wildlife center (PPSC) as their sole veterinarian for their 300+ animals.

She realized that proper veterinary care was not able to be funded by centers such as this since it is a non-profit, non-governmental foundation, which runs fully on donations. This means its always a struggle to fund all the daily cost, let alone to make new enclosures. This leaves little to no money for the improvement of the veterinary clinic and to support the medical care of the animals being housed in the rescue center.

With the help of Alia's family and friends she started Vets In The Wild in the hopes of one day being able to provide enough funding for centers such as this around the world, where her non-profit would not only be able to fund the veterinary aspect of a rescue and rehabilitation center but also educational programs and one day even providing protected land for these animals to be released in a safe environment where they would not become victims of animal-human conflict ever again.

  Francis Cabana Nutrition Specialist


Francis Cabana

Nutrition Specialist


Francis is our wild animal nutrition specialist.

He has worked in zoos and with many NGO's which required assistance in assessing their dietary regimes, implementing change and creating monitoring protocols. For his PhD fieldwork, Francis is in SouthEast Asia studying the feeding ecology and captive nutrition of Slow Lorises. At the same time his work with us allows him to go to many sanctuaries and rescue centers and work with a variety of animals, and hopefully increase their welfare through innovative diet presentation methods, reduce the occurrence of disease through a balanced diet and increased reintroduction success rate through helping to source wild type food items.

His passion is helping animals through nutrition. Nutrition affects every facet of animals' lives and Francis believes this is something that should be prioritized in a captive setting.



                                                                                                                                                                                     Peggy KOHLER                                                                                   Communication, fundraising                                                                                 


                                                                                            Peggy KOHLER

                                                                                  Communication, fundraising


Peggy has previously worked in advertising, and was living in Reunion Island from 2002-2012. Since her childhood, she has been very passionate about taking care of animals. At first, she was involved in different organizations concerning domestic animal protection, especially helping to rescue dogs and cats. As a natural personal development, her passion in wildlife led her to travel as a volunteer in animalcenters ,in both South Africa and Rwanda.

Peggy's motivation for working in wildlife became more and more important to her, and in 2012 she decided to give up everything and start a new life - only focusing on working with animals.

Her journey started in Djibouti, in a wildlife rescue centre wwwdecandjibouti.org, owned by a French vet. Her next stop was in Malaysia, in the research and conservation centre, danau girang field centre, Borneo. Finally she found a rescue centre in Indonesia, Cikananga wildlife rescue centre, where she meet Alya, and was able to both work as a normal volunteer, and furthermore given the chance to help at the clinic as a Vet assistant. Besides this, she became Cikanangas volunteer coordinator for a period of 6 months.

Now she's involved in the project Vets in the Wild, where she can take advantage of her previous experience in advertising, to work for fundraising for VitW and also assisting in the online communication, in order to spread the interest in VitW and make people aware of this amazing project.


                                                                                                                                             Natasha Rose Ateah                                                                                          Volunteer Services Director                                                                           (Photo taken at BEES in Mae Chaem Thailand)


                                                                                       Natasha Rose Ateah

                                                                                         Volunteer Services Director

                                                                          (Photo taken at BEES in Mae Chaem Thailand)

Natasha Rose was a salon owner in Toronto, Canada, who rescued domestic and wild animals in her spare time. After her business and home became more of a sanctuary setting, she longed to take her passion to new heights and decided to sell all of her wordily possessions, and embark on a worldwide full-time volunteering journey. She has volunteered in countries such as, Canada, Costa Rica, China, Java, Cambodia, Thailand, and Africa, researching numerous ways to enrich the lives of wildlife in various conditions. 

Her goal is to help recruit the help of much needed volunteers and staff members to care for wildlife, as well as spreading the word on how important volunteering is in the wildlife community, and how to choose wildlife friendly organizations and charities to work with.