Zoo streaking a roaring success
Hundreds of animal lovers earned their stripes by running naked around a zoo to raise money for a rare subspecies of tiger.
The sponsored streak saw 300 brave runners get back to nature by stripping off to make their way through ZSL London Zoo in the after-hours event, watched by their supporters and some rather bemused animals.
Wearing nothing more than trainers, tiger masks and tiger ears, they ran a 300m course through the centre of the attraction, with some exhibitionists choosing to complete several laps of the circuit. Body paint and tiger stripe leg warmers were the streakers' only attempts at modesty.
Streak for Tigers, named after the collective noun for the animal, raised some £60,000 which will be ploughed into conservation work to protect the Sumatran tigers, of which there only remain 300 in the wild.
Brave participant 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."
Fellow streaker Son Osman, 31, from Bromley, south east London, 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."
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."