Mail a letter, save a tiger?

May 12, 2011

If the world gets saved one small act at a time, the U.S. Postal Service and the Wildlife Conservation Society may be onto something. They’ve just unveiled a new stamp that aims to make protection of endangered species as easy as mailing a letter.

The new Save Vanishing Species stamp costs 55 cents, 11 cents more than a regular first class stamp. It features the face of a tiger cub, and net proceeds contribute to projects supported by the Multinational Species Conservation Funds, which are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These projects work to conserve tigers, rhinos, great apes, marine turtles and African and Asian elephants.

There is no impact on U.S. taxpayers, and it is the fourth so-called semipostal issue by the Postal Service.  The stamps should be available in September at post offices and at Wildlife Conservation Society parks.

The announcement is a victory for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which had fought for legislation to create such stamps and manages the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, including its flagship, the Bronx Zoo in New York City.

It’s been a good week for that well-known zoo overall. For the second time since March, a zoo animal went on walkabout before being safely recovered. This time it was a green and brown peahen (a female peafowl, the peacock’s counterpart) who — of course — had a designated Twitter feed while she was out on the town. She tweeted that she got some pointers from a Bronx Zoo cobra that had a celebrated period of freedom back in March and had a similarly popular Twitter feed.

After her return, the peahen tweeted: “Btw news media, you have it wrong. I let them capture me so I didn’t have to walk back.”

Image courtesy U.S. Postal Service

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