CONCERN that tigers and other endangered species could be extinct within only two years led a Haverhill man and his father-in-law to write a song which they hope to sell to raise funds and awarenesss about the destruction of many exotic creatures.
Paul Oakley, of Boyton Close, Haverhill was given a poem by his father-in-law Ted Carter, who was moved to write it after watching wildlife programmes and realising wild tigers could be extinct within his lifetime – there are currently estimated to be fewer than 5,000.
Paul, 45, who has played in bands for more than 25 years, said: "He sent me the poem, Call Of The Wild, and asked if I could put some music to it.
"Seeing his words really struck home – it's really meaningful – and the music came quite easily."
Paul contacted Birmingham-based singer Dave Millard, who he had met via the Internet, and was blown away by the result when Dave sent the vocals back to him: "That was just the first draft. When he sent the finished vocals, I could have just sat and listened to his vocals."
His father-in-law was 'speechless' at the result, which Paul and his wife, Brenda Oakley-Carter, presented to him as a finished item for Christmas.
Now the couple want to release the song and donate the money to animal charities, and they are looking for support or sponsorship to produce a CD.
"This is where Brenda has been a driving force," said Paul.
"We wanted to do something to raise awareness of all the species that are being wiped out, and for people who think animals don't matter to realise the knock-on effect is on their habitats and then on to us."
Paul is setting up a website, to sell digital downloads of the song, but would like to hear from anyone who can help with the production of a CD and printing costs.
All money raised by the sale would go to Born Free, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and the Whale And Dolphin Conservation Society.
Paul said: "There are people who will say 'why should we give to animals?' but less than half a per cent of all money raised for charity goes to animals."
Brenda would also like to get schools involved in the project, encouraging children to learn about the extinction of animals through the song and with the help of the couple's chosen animal charities.
Anyone who can help with CDs or printing, and any schools who would like to learn more can contact Paul and Brenda via Karen at the Haverhill Echo, on 01440 764008.