Dublin Zoo gives ginger children free entry to orangutan weekend

November 12, 2010 | by | 10 Comments

A zoo has been left red-faced after it planned to raise awareness for the plight of orangutans by offering free entry – to GINGER children.

Dublin Zoo gives free entry to ginger children

Dublin Zoo will offer all red-haired children under 16 and anyone dressed as an orangutan free entry to the zoo this weekend to highlight the plight of the great ape.

But the publicity stunt has been criticised for indirectly comparing red-haired people to primates and giving school bullies ammunition for playground taunts.

Jessica Bateman, a 25-year-old red head, said: “Red-headed children often have terrible experiences at school where they are singled out and picked on for being ‘different’.

“The destruction of self-esteem this causes is massively underestimated and can affect people for their whole lives.

“I understand they are trying to raise awareness for an important issue but singling out red heads isn’t the right way to do it.”

But Ciarán McMahon, the primate keeper at the zoo, defended the Orangutan Awareness Weekend.

She said: “The real point is raising awareness about these endangered animals that may be extinct in 10 years.”

Orangutans – which are among the cleverest primates – are heading towards extinction as a result of habitat loss, palm oil plantations and illegal pet trade.

The primate, which shares 97 per cent DNA with humans, could be the first Great Ape to be extinct.

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Comments (10)

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  1. Deczar says:

    It’s a shame that the Irish are now using the originally British racial stereotype of red haired people being somehow different against their own people as a form of bullying.

  2. Franklycatherine says:

    I am sure no real offence was meant but the lack of thought nto the obvious effect this will have on Ginger kids of school age is astonishing!!
    I am sure they wouldn’t put out a call to all fat kids to come to the zoo for free in a bid to save the hippo…………………………………………………………………………..

  3. Sarah says:

    Here in Australia we redheads are commonly called ‘rangas’ anyway – would be more than happy to support my redheaded counterpart!

  4. Alan O'Reilly says:

    Idiots with to much time on their hands & always find something to complain about . This is a good thing to raise awareness of a race that could be extinct soon . These people complaining seem to complain about everything .
    Dublin Zoo are doing a great job , Why do certain moans never see the good side to anything they always see the negative side .
    They never picked up on the fact that its free entry for anyone who wears red not just red heads . or they never thought about extinction .
    What if they said humans would be extinct in 10 years ?? Im sure they would still find something to MOAN & GROAN about .
    Grow up people its a good cause .

    • Sarah Clarke says:

      Come on Alan, dont you think “idiots” is a bit strong??? surely everyone can have an opinion. Yes Dublin zoo is doing a great job, but their promotion could easily be interpreted as insensitive!!

      • Davidmc says:

        Almost anything that is said could be deemed insensitive to someone unless the statement is completely sterile. However, the zoo wins here with the media coverage of the story raising awareness of the species’ plight.

  5. concerned_red says:

    I think there is a more sinister side. Ignorance is not an excuse. In the early days of racism and shows such as Love thy Neighbour, it was all harmless fun and pc gone mad!. There is no consideration given to kids that have to through the abuse endured.

    I easily distinguish this as a form of racism by substituting the same advert with a black kid with a black chimp. No one would dare attempt to pass this off as harmless fun or raising awareness.

  6. Suzie says:

    Would you get over yourselves! This is just a bit of fun, after all some of my best friends (and relatives are gingers). Keep up the ginger-breeding programme!

  7. Aaron says:

    I’m an Australian who runs a charity for Orangutans called RANGA – the Red And Nearly Ginger Association. We regularly hold ‘red-hair’ parties to fundraise. Not only is it empowering to ginger people to see everyone else as a ginger, but we’ve raised thousands of dollars for this important cause.
    We remember what it was like in school, and have created a superhero for kids called RANGAman! His job is to help kids by giving them clever comebacks to any kid dumb enough to pick on one of our little rangas!
    Words only possess the power that we as society give them. If we can put a positive spin on being ginger then Hey Presto, no more bullying! Bully says: “RANGA.” Ginger kid says: “thanks dude, that’s very kind”
    Game over. Check us out at RANGA.net.au
    I’m going to contact Dublin Zoo to congratulate them, and encourage them to run this promo again- but this time letting us manage the PR spin!

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