Gately joins conservation campaign08/04/2009 - 16:10:08
Boyzone star Stephen Gately today posed with the tigers of London Zoo to raise awareness of a scheme to save the animals from extinction.
The singer and actor said he was backing the work of 21st Century Tiger, which funds projects to conserve the highly endangered species, protect them from poaching and look after their habitat.
While there used to be around 100,000 tigers in the wild, current numbers stood at less than 4,000 individuals, in Russia, India and South-East Asia, he said.
“We need to take care of their habitats, which is forests and woods, and the more we do to chop down trees and use up so many things, the more danger they’re in,” he said.
“So it’s a great opportunity to come here to show people how beautiful these animals are and to raise awareness they need to survive and we need to help them and protect them more.”
Gately said he was supporting the scheme because he was an animal lover and tigers were “so beautiful and so graceful”.
To raise awareness of their plight, he posed for pictures with the tigers - separated by a thick glass window – but also got the chance to feed them through the gate with tongs.
He joked: “You really do want to pet them because they’re so beautiful but you daren’t because you won’t come back with a hand,” he said.
He added that it was important to be as environmentally friendly as possible, and said he did his recycling and offset the carbon footprint racked up by flying around the world touring with the band.
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