CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Bengal linebackers used their tackling skills to help the world's tigers.
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden teamed up with the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2012 season in the 'Tackle for Tigers' program. For every tackle the linebackers made, $15 went directly to Cincinnati Zoo ADOPT (Animals Depend on People Too) and the zoo's tiger conservation program, courtesy of JS Gold & Coin and Holman Motors.
In the 2012 regular season, Bengal linebackers had 359 tackles. As a result, $5,385 went towards the zoo's programs. Leading the team in tackles was Vontaze Burfict with 127, and Rey Maualuga followed with 122.
Officials revealed Burfict and Maualuga both finished in the top 20 in the NFL and top 10 in the AFC in total tackles. Also contributing to the Tackle for Tigers fund were Bengal linebackers Vincent Rey, Manny Lawson, Dan Skuta, Emmanuel Lamur and Thomas Howard.
"The Cincinnati Zoo has always been invested in big cat education and conservation," said Thane Maynard, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. "But now, through the support of our hometown Cincinnati Bengals, we were able to reach a broader audience and really address the challenges facing big cat populations throughout the world while educating our visitors and giving them tangible opportunities to make a difference at home and abroad."
Zoo officials say tigers once ranged widely across Asia, yet over the past 100 years have lost 93% of their historic range. In addition, the remaining six tiger subspecies are considered endangered.