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Silence for wildlife

PUBLISHED: 18:04 27 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:26 03 March 2010

JUST when you would have expected a group of cubs with faces painted as big cats to have let out a huge roar, a hush fell over the room.

For the youngsters from the 6th Old Felixstowe cub pack were taking part in a sponsored silence - keeping totally quiet for at least half an hour.

JUST when you would have expected a group of cubs with faces painted as big cats to have let out a huge roar, a hush fell over the room.

For the youngsters from the 6th Old Felixstowe cub pack were taking part in a sponsored silence – keeping totally quiet for at least half an hour.

The 20 boys, all aged between eight and ten, were taking part in the event to raise cash for the work of the wildlife charity WWF and its support for threatened species of big cats, such as lions, tigers and cheetahs.

Akela Rachel Cornwell said: "The boys were excellent – and they stayed silent for the whole time. It was a tremendous effort.

"We have been learning about big cats and doing a lot of work, including quizzes and art, and the cubs have been very enthusiastic and found it very interesting.

"Next month we will be having a display in the library of the work so we can show the public what we have been doing."

The group, which meets on Monday evenings at the Old Felixstowe Community Centre in Ferry Road, was allowed to communicate with each other during the sponsored silence only by writing messages on paper.

The display of their work on big cats will take place at Felixstowe Library, Crescent Road, from March 26 for two weeks.

The WWF is working to help the 37 species of cats, which include the eight big cats – African and Asiatic lions, tiger, jaguar, puma, leopard, snow leopard, clouded leopard and cheetah – whose populations and habitat are shrinking.

Poaching and illegal hunting for their pelts and body parts for the Chinese medicine trade, loss of habitat and prey, and lack of protection are all factors threatening the future of the animals.

The WWF raises money to improve awareness of their plight and to fund game park rangers to protect them and monitor their numbers.

WEBLINK: www.wwf.org.uk

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