Andy Murray and Kevin Spacey team up to save tigers

WWF says that 2016 could be a pivotal year for tiger conservation as populations slowly start to recover. Picture:  Ian Gavan / Getty Images / WWF-UK
WWF says that 2016 could be a pivotal year for tiger conservation as populations slowly start to recover. Picture: Ian Gavan / Getty Images / WWF-UK

Andy Murray has teamed up with actor Kevin Spacey to back an ambitious plan to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022.

While Murray’s predecessor Tim Henman had the “tiger” nickname, the Scot is a WWF global ambassador and was joined by keen tennis fan Spacey at Wimbledon as they gave their backing to the charity’s campaign.

Kicking off his campaign for The Championships at Wimbledon 2016, Andy Murray is joined by Kevin Spacey on the All England Clubs Centre Court. Picture: Ian Gavan / Getty Images / WWF-UK

Kicking off his campaign for The Championships at Wimbledon 2016, Andy Murray is joined by Kevin Spacey on the All England Clubs Centre Court. Picture: Ian Gavan / Getty Images / WWF-UK

Ahead of his latest tilt towards the final at SW19, which gets under way today with his opening match against fellow Brit Liam Broady, Murray was joined by Spacey on a rainy Centre Court as they made a video appealing for support.

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The pair highlighted the fact that there are fewer than 4,000 tigers left in the wild - less than a third of the 14,979 seats on Centre Court.

Murray said: “This year could be the turning point for tigers. It may be the best chance we have to protect these amazing animals. It’s definitely a challenge worth taking on and I believe we must do all we can to help double wild tiger numbers.”

Andy Murray is joined by Kevi nSpacey on the All England Clubs Centre Court, to deliver a powerful message as part of WWFs campaign to help double the number of wild tigers by 2022. Picture:  Ian Gavan / Getty Images / WWF-UK

Andy Murray is joined by Kevi nSpacey on the All England Clubs Centre Court, to deliver a powerful message as part of WWFs campaign to help double the number of wild tigers by 2022. Picture: Ian Gavan / Getty Images / WWF-UK

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Spacey added: “It’s shocking to think that there are fewer than 4,000 tigers left in the wild. That’s less than a third of the number of seats at Centre Court.

“But whilst their situation is precarious, I have learnt from Andy that there is hope. We really can help tiger numbers recover. It’s a challenge that I’m proud to be part of drawing attention to.”

While recent estimates show tiger numbers have risen, poaching remains a threat. The number reached an all-time low of 3,200 in 2010, WWF hopes to double the number over the next seven years, the most ambitious tiger conservation goal ever set.

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To support the campaign follow the #DoubleTigers campaign online or text TIGER to 70123 to donate £5 to WWF.