April 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 16, 2013
Hundreds of animal lovers connected with nature and ran naked through London Zoo in support of a rare subspecies of tiger.
The group of 300 took part in a sponsored streak through the park.
Wearing nothing more than trainers, tiger masks and tiger ears, the runners completed a 300m course through the centre of the attraction.
Some exhibitionists chose to complete several laps of the circuit at the event, which was named after the term for a group of tigers - a streak.
Body paint and tiger stripe leg warmers were the streakers’ only attempts at modesty.
Streak for Tigers raised around £60,000, which will be ploughed into conservation work to protect the Sumatran tigers, of which there only remain 300 in the wild.
London Zoo has two Sumatran tigers - Jae Jae and Melati - who recently moved into a newly built enclosure at the zoo called Tiger Territory.
Among those taking part in last night’s streak was Son Osman, 31, from Bromley, who said he had “jumped at the chance” to take part in the run.
Explaining why, he said: “It was the chance to get naked in a zoo, for the tigers.
“It was very liberating, and quite a unique experience.”
Nic Coles, 34, from Biggin Hill, Kent, said it was “a great event”.
“I was a bit nervous at first, but after seeing so many people turning out for it, it made it feel a lot easier.” he said. “If it helps the tigers, I’d do it all over again.”
James Wren, development director at ZSL, said: “Everyone got so excited about the event, they really got behind it.
“There was an amazing buzz in the crowd, both from the spectators and the participants who were running around naked.
“We only asked them to do one lap, but many carried on doing several laps around the zoo because they felt so liberated and free.
“The feedback has been overwhelming, from those involved in naturism to those who are just passionate about tigers.
“They were apprehensive and nervous, but when they were doing it, they just enjoyed it so much, they were delighted.”