Local elementary school students will be honored next week for showing their support to the Palm Beach Zoo and its efforts to save an endangered tiger sub-species more than 10,000 miles away in Malaysia.
Putting pen to paper, 53 fifth graders from Palmetto Elementary wrote letters to the director of all of the national parks in the state of Johor and one of the largest parks in Malaysia with Malayan tigers. The students expressed their support to the director for his efforts to protect the endangered animals and also their appreciation for the three Malayan tiger cubs born at the Palm Beach Zoo in May 2011.
“We should all help save the tigers because they’re becoming endangered. If the tigers become extinct, the whole food chain would be thrown off,” wrote one student in his letter.
“I am very interested in helping you save the Malayan Tigers. I enjoy seeing the beautiful tigers playing with their adorable cubs at the Zoo. I always love taking cute pictures of them,” wrote another student.
There are fewer than 500 Malayan tigers left in the wild and only 60 in captivity world-wide, four of them live at the Palm Beach Zoo. The three tiger cubs were the first to be born at the Zoo and only the second litter to be born at a U.S. zoo last year.
On Tuesday, November 20 at 10 a.m., the Palmetto Elementary students will be honored at the Zoo. They will meet at the Special Events Pavilion for a brief presentation. Andrew Aiken, Zoo president and CEO, who hand-delivered the students’ letters during a visit to Malaysia last month, will also share the impact the writings had on the park director.
Copies of the letters will be available for video and print purposes. Students will also be made available for interviews and will read their letters in front of the tiger exhibit. There, they will also observe a tiger training demonstration.