Diary - Carrots and sticks

5th February 2010 at 00:00

Redheaded pupils get enough stick as it is without being linked with apes. But that didn't stop an Australian zoo from offering free entry to people with ginger hair by likening them to orang-utans.

Adelaide Zoo's "Free entry for Rangas" campaign ran during school holidays to highlight the plight of one of man's closest cousins. "Ranga", an abbreviation of orang-utan, is a common nickname for redheads in Oz.

Kevin Evans, director of conservation at the zoo, says the campaign sought to link the threats to both the apes and to redheads. While the apes are losing their natural habitat through deforestation, greater population movement means the gene for ginger hair in humans is losing out to the more dominant brown and blonde genes.

The zoo has dropped the ads after protests that it was insulting to people with red hair, but the offer will still apply.

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