Environment Forum

Mail a letter, save a tiger?

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.

Tiger among fluffy toys shows extreme smuggling tricks

tigerThe drugged tiger cub (left) hidden among cuddly toys in a bag at Bangkok airport  ranks as one of the most bizarre smuggling tricks.

Imagine the shock of X-raying the bag — as airport workers checking luggage did — and finding a live tiger among the fluffy tiger toys. Maybe it moved, or they spotted the outline of its skeleton among the other toys?

For a story about the two-month-old cub (photo courtesy of wildlife trade monitoring group Traffic) click here. A 31-year-old Thai woman was about to board a flight to Iran when they found the cub in her oversized bag.