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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 7 August, 2020
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Red faces (and red hair) at Dublin Zoo

Misguided “Orang utan Weekend” promotion appears to link red-haired children with the endangered species.

Image: visual.dichotomy via Creative Commons

DUBLIN ZOO HAS LAUNCHED a campaign offering free entry to red-haired or -wigged children during its “Orang Utan Awareness Weekend”.

The zoo’s website outlines the offer:

This weekend, Dublin Zoo invites you to come and celebrate Orang utan Awareness Week with the Zoo’s very own red haired family, the orang utans.

For one weekend only, the Zoo is offering free entry to all red haired children and any child who arrives at the Zoo dressed as an orang utan to drive awareness surrounding the endangered orang utans in the wild.

The primate keeper at Dublin Zoo, Ciarán McMahon, told the Irish Times the scheme was intended as a fun way to raise awareness about the endangered animals which “may be extinct in 10 years”.

Twitter users responded to the project mostly with anger and disbelief, although some welcomed it:

Red faces (and red hair) at Dublin Zoo
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Orangutans are listed as an endangered to critically endangered species by the WWF, and are currently only found in the wild on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra in south-east Asia.

Commercial logging and replacing forests with farms and palm oil plantations have been reducing their natural habitat, according to the WWF.

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