Tackles Raised Money for Cincinnati Zoo’s Tiger Conservation Program
CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden teamed up with the Cincinnati Bengal linebackers during the 2012 regular season to help tigers. For every tackle the linebackers made, $15, courtesy of JS Gold & Coin and Holman Motors, went directly to the Cincinnati Zoo ADOPT (Animals Depend on People Too) and the Zoo’s tiger conservation program.
This year, Cincinnati Bengal linebackers accounted for 359 tackles for a grand total of $5,385 to benefit the Cincinnati Zoo’s tiger conservation programs. Vontaze Burfict led the team in tackles with 127, followed by Rey Maualuga at 122. Burfict and Maualuga both finished in the top 20 in the NFL and top 10 in the AFC in total tackles. Vincent Rey, Manny Lawson, Dan Skuta, Emmanuel Lamur and Thomas Howard also contributed to the tackle tally.
“The Cincinnati Zoo has always been invested in big cat education and conservation,” said Thane Maynard, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. “But now, through the support of our hometown Cincinnati Bengals, we were able to reach a broader audience and really address the challenges facing big cat populations throughout the world while educating our visitors and giving them tangible opportunities to make a difference at home and abroad.
The Cincinnati Zoo partners with other zoos on a Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP). In addition to maintaining a healthy tiger population in zoos, the Tiger SSP has launched a Tiger Conservation Campaign to raise awareness and funds for wild tiger conservation. As the Coordinator for the Malayan Tiger SSP, Zoo Curator Mike Dulaney believes that “Working cooperatively with our colleagues both in U.S. Zoos and in tiger range countries provides us with the best chance to ensure that these magnificent cats do not forever disappear.”
Given enough space, prey, and protection, tigers can survive. The Zoo contributes funds raised through Project Saving Species to the Wildlife Conservation Society-Panthera Tigers Forever Initiative’s tiger research and anti-poaching efforts in the Endau-Rompin landscape of Peninsular Malaysia.
Researchers use camera traps to monitor tigers and their prey in the wild. They set up motion-triggered cameras on posts or trees along wildlife trails that take and store pictures of any wildlife passing by. From these photos, researchers can estimate how many tigers are in an area and what other animals live there. On-the-ground rangers deter poaching activity through regular patrols. They also dismantle snares. Engaging the local communities through education and outreach strengthens these activities.
The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 11 feet and weighing up to 670 pounds. They are the third largest land carnivore, behind only the polar bear and the brown bear. While Tigers once ranged widely across Asia, over the past 100 years, they have lost 93% of their historic range. The remaining six tiger subspecies have been classified as endangered. The global population in the wild is estimated to number between 3,062 to 3,948 individuals, with most remaining populations occurring in small pockets that are isolated from each other. Major reasons for population decline include habitat destruction, fragmentation and poaching.