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World Orang utan Day: 19th August 2014

World Orang utan Day: 19th August 2014

It’s really easy for gingers to make friends with other gingers. If there are two redheads in a crowded room, it’s highly likely that those two gingers will meet, become fast friends, and chat for hours about their red hair.

With that being said, please bear in mind that apparently natural redheads share 97% of their DNA with orang utans. Meaning that they must be our friends too.

Orangutans Twycross Zoo

We must save our friends, the orang utans, in any way that we can! *shakes fist at the sky*

Which is why World Orang utan Day comes in handy. Tuesday 19th August 2014 will be internationally recognised as a day of celebration of the ginger animal, and will spread awareness of the dangers currently facing the red apes in the wild.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the number of wild orang utans has dropped by a massive 50% in the past 60 years, with no signs of stopping.

This is because orang utans’ largest threat is the loss of their natural habitat, as large-scale deforestation occurs more and more often, with the burning down of thousands of kilometres of rainforest in Borneo and Sumatra to make way for oil palm plantations.

Seen as pests by the oil palm farmers, the animals are usually killed, or they perish in the destruction process.

And so, to spread the word about the near-extinction of orang utans and to celebrate their natural beauty on World Orang utan Day, Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire, UK, will let anyone will red hair into the zoo for free on 19th August.

You heard me. Anyone with auburn, strawberry blonde, copper, golden, or bright fire-truck red hair can enter the zoo for free, whether it is natural or dyed.

And don’t try and fool the staff at the ticket booths. Each member will have been meticulously trained on the varying shades of red hair and will have a redhead colour scale on hand to make sure.

A wig doesn’t count, either.

Twycross Zoo continually supports the Orangutan Land Trust, helping to upgrade facilities in the Nyaru Menteng Care Centre for rescued orang utans, with the aim of releasing rehabilitated animals.

In addition, the zoo is a partner of the United Nations Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP), helping to preserve the natural habitat of apes in Asia and Africa.

Twycross currently has four Bornean orang utans: male Batu, females Kibriah and Maliku (above), and three-year-old youngster Molly (above).

Molly Orangutan

Also, to make World Orang utan Day even more fun, a gaggle of gingers will gather at Twycross Zoo on the day, as organised by the Redhead Day UK team on Facebook. Join your fellow redheads at Twycross Zoo for a day of frolics with your orang utan cousins!

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Elsewhere in the world…

South Australia’s The Orangutan Project (TOP) will celebrate World Orang utan Day in a different way, by wearing something orange!

Schools and businesses can sign up to take part, and it’s all in aid of TOP and their work in supporting orangutan conservation, rainforest protection, local community partnerships and the rehabilitation and reintroduction of orangutans back to the wild.

For more info on how to receive a fundraising pack, click here.


By Emma

[Images: Gillian Day]


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