ATTENTION redheads! Twycross Zoo is inviting anyone with the striking-coloured hair to come and enjoy everything the award-winning conservation charity has to offer, for free!
In celebration of World Orang utan Day, the Leicestershire-based Zoo is allowing free entry on Sunday 19th August for anyone with red hair, whether it be natural, dyed or even a wig.
The idea behind this is to encourage the public to take action in helping to conserve this great ape species and raise awareness of the many threats they face.
Populations of orang utans in the wild have dramatically declined in recent years. There are now only an estimated 55,000 Bornean orangutans and 14,600 Sumatran orangutans according to the International Union for Conservation on Nature (IUCN), which lists both species as Critically Endangered.
Twycross Zoo is home to six Bornean orangutans; 40-year-old female, Kibriah, who gave birth to female, Kayan last year and male Basuki was born last year to 24-year-old, Maliku. The group is complete with the Basuki’s seven-year-old sister, Molly, and their impressive dad, Batu.
Matyas Liptovszky, Head of Life Sciences, said: “Since Twycross Zoo opened in 1963, Orang utans have been a key species that we have cared for. They are among the most intelligent primates, using a variety of tools to forage through enrichment activities and our visitors can witness this first-hand. World Orang Utan Day is crucial to help us raise awareness about the declining populations caused by poaching, habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade.
“We want to offer our visitors a free, fun day out for all, but also encourage them to take action in preserving this amazing species. With our online donations system going live on World Orang Utan Day, we hope that with the support of our visitors we can raise money towards the conservation of this incredible species and other endangered species, as well as other conservation projects across the world.”
During World Orang utan Day, Education Rangers will be on hand to provide more details about the zoo’s own group, highlight the plight of orang utans in the wild and explain what simple steps visitors can take to help save the species that could face extinction in the next 10 to 20 years.
One of the main threats to orang utans is deforestation due to unsustainable farming of palm oil, which leads to a loss of habitat. As a conservation charity, Twycross Zoo is working to reduce pressures on natural resources and wildlife by only using ethically sourced products and sustainable palm oil.
Twycross Zoo is open to the public from 10.00 to 18.00, 364 days a year. For further information and to book tickets visit www.twycrosszoo.org or call 0844 474 1777.
Photo: thanks to Phillipa Dobbs, Veterinary Associate at Twycross Zoo