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Friday, February 14, 2003

The WWF has just sent out an fun press release on the lonely heart problems faced by endangered species such as Giant Pandas, Amur Tigers + Javan Rhinos...

"Shy, sensitive, cuddly female giant panda seeks companionship with male. Does not want too much commitment. Must like living at high altitudes in mountains, and sitting in trees. Hobbies include eating for up to 14 hours a day + taking twilight strolls."

Due to habitat loss, giant pandas are restricted to bamboo thickets on steep mountain slopes and have become isolated in small populations. This is could create inbreeding problems + declining reproductive rates.

"What's up pussycat? World's largest cat seeks frisky feline company. Must like going out at night and hunting. No vegetarians please. Must be brash and not timid – the bigger the roar the better!"

The Amur tiger is in a critical state, only 450 remain, mostly in Russia, where WWF is working to conserve them. This tiger is native to Siberia. It is a very cold and harsh land, covered with snow for much of the year. There are more Amur tigers in zoos than there are in the wild.

"Strong and beefy one-horned rhino looking for friendship with female rhino. Must like tropical rainforest. Hobbies include wallowing in mud + making large dung piles."

During the 1970's half of the world's remaining rhinos disappeared. Javan rhinos are mainly confined to western Java and southern Vietnam. The population was estimated at between 50-70 in 2002 Asian Rhinos in the Wild: 2002 - A WWF Species Status Report. The greatest threat today to all rhinos is the demand for their horn, which is used in traditional Asian medicines.

"Unique beautiful blue male parrot, answer's to name of Spix, desperately seeks relationship with broody female. Must enjoy going on woodland flights, eating fruits + raising chicks. Come fly with me!"

Sadly only one solitary male remains in the wild following decades of decline from collectors trade + habitat loss. Not a happy ending for this Spix macaw – doomed to be very lonely this Valentine's Day...

Visit this WWF/ Traffic website to find out more about the campaign to stop the illegal wildlife trade.