Smithsonian, singers share song to save Sumatrans National Zoo Veterinarian Carlos Sanchez uses an eye scope to examine a Sumatran tiger cub
Smithsonian, singers share song to save Sumatrans
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Indie rock band Portugal. The Man and the Smithsonian's National Zoo released an "endangered song" Tuesday for Earth Day. The song is meant to demonstrate the dwindling number of about 400 Sumatran tigers left in the world.

The new song, "Sumatran Tiger," was recorded on 400 polycarbonate vinyl records. The records will degrade and self-destruct after a certain number of plays. So the only way to save the song is to digitize and "breed" it by sharing the music through social media, organizers said.

The song was released to 400 participants to share, including celebrities, politicians, policy makers and conservationists. It's being circulated by the zoo, the band and advertising agency DDB New York.

The music campaign is a new way to show how endangered tigers are in the wild and is meant to "inspire action."

Sumatran tigers are listed as critically endangered. They could go extinct due to poaching and habitat loss. The Smithsonian is part of the Global Tiger Initiative. It aims to double the number of wild tigers by 2022.

Zach Carothers of the Portland, Ore.-based band said they're asking radio stations and other musicians to help spread the word about tiger conservation. Several members of the band are from Alaska and grew up with a love for the environment and wildlife.

"We've been able to actually see the damage that humans have done, everything from global warming, oil companies, everything," Carothers said. "We just thought this was a very original and very cool way to get the word out about endangered species in general and a specific endangered species that people might just not know about."

The song carries a subtle message about conservation, he said. It was an untitled song written some time ago about Alaska's wildlife that the band reworked and finished with the title "Sumatran Tiger."

"It started with growing up in Alaska and having a lot of those themes of the general cliche of 'you don't know what you have 'til it's gone' kind of idea," Carothers said.

The Smithsonian created a website to help track the song's progress: http://www.endangeredsong.si.edu/

Critical thinking challenge: How does the self-destructing song emphasize the plight of the tigers?

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COMMENTS (40)
  • 1234Caitlin
    4/23/2014 - 08:45 a.m.

    It helps to show that if you don't "breed" the song then it will go "extinct", it's the same for the tigers. That is why they do this for the song.

  • IS19Batman
    4/23/2014 - 12:59 p.m.

    People should help the tiger try to make it breed more so they wont go extinct i dont think animals should go extinct ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    4/23/2014 - 09:25 p.m.

    I wonder if poachers would actually stop poaching animals for some money. That is stupid, selling animal organs to gain money. Poaching shouldn't exist because it harms the environment by reducing the population of the species.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    4/24/2014 - 12:05 a.m.

    I wonder if poachers would actually stop poaching animals just for some money. That is stupid, selling animal organs to gain money. Poaching shouldn't exist because it harms the environment by reducing the population of the species.We need to take action. I agree with the Smithsonian Institute because if the tigers die out, no one will be able to see it ever again because it is extinct. Like other animals that are extinct like the dodo bird, Vietnamese Javan Rhinoceros, Steller's Sea Cow, etc.
    Critical thinking challenge: How does the self-destructing song emphasize the plight of the tigers?
    Answer: The song emphasizes the tigers because I think the 400 lathe-cut polycarbonate records represent the Sumatran tiger because since there are only 400 tigers, then there are only 400 records existing in the world.

  • Haley34333
    4/24/2014 - 08:45 a.m.

    Omg this is so cute I don't really understand why the song effects the tiger but if it helps it must be good there so cute

  • Donnie Rockholt
    4/24/2014 - 08:50 a.m.

    I like how they stop what ever they were doing before and they started making the song about saving the endangered tigers and I really hope that it works.

  • AidanL-5
    4/24/2014 - 08:26 p.m.

    This article is about the newest marketing attempt by the Smithsonian National Zoo. On Earth Day, the Zoo released an "endangered song" which self-destructs after a certain number of plays. It's meant to demonstrate the dwindling numbers of Sumatran tigers left in the wild. The song was released to 400 participants to "breed" on social media. The Zoo hopes it will encourage donations and actions to protect endangered species.

    I enjoyed this article because I love tiger and was not aware of this amazing campaign to raise awareness for their dwindling numbers by this Smithsonian National Zoo.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    4/24/2014 - 08:51 p.m.

    I think that the 400 Sumatran tigers need to be treated better, like not letting them be injured by oil companies, global warming, and etc. You can help the 400 Sumatran tigers by letting them be in a better atmosphere where the 400 Sumatran tigers can be safe and also where they can reproduce Sumatran cubs.
    Critical thinking challenge: How does the self-destructing song emphasize the plight of the tigers?
    Answer: The self-destructing song emphasizes the plight of tigers by how the tigers are nearly extinct from this world.

  • RyanK-3
    4/25/2014 - 12:31 a.m.

    This story is about a tiger song. A song was released for Sumatran Tigers. The song was written by Portugal. The Man and the Smithsonian's National Zoo. The song was recorded on 400 polycarbonate vinyl records. This song was made to share awareness for the dwindling number of Sumatran Tigers. I think it is great that we can make music to raise awareness for something.

  • 2001kierra
    4/25/2014 - 08:54 a.m.

    I think it's a good thing that the man made a the for Sumatran tigers to save them. That was a very nice thing to do for the tigers.

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