Thursday, April 24, 2008

Zoo plea after hoax: Stop calling our animals

DUBLIN Zoo has appealed to the public not to be taken in by hoax text messages that have led to its switchboard being jammed by an estimated 100,000 calls in two weeks.

People are receiving text messages to their mobile phones asking them to ring the zoo's phone number for an "urgent message".

The texts are signed with names like G Raffe, C Lion, Rory Lyons and Anna Conda.

"This is proving to be a very serious waste of our time and resources," the zoo said.

The zoo's marketing manager Veronica Crisp told RTE state radio they had previously got hoax calls on a few days of the year like April Fool's Day but the current situation "was getting out of hand".

"It might be kind of funny the first few times but we have lost our sense of humour now with calls coming in at a rate of about 13 a minute. The system is pretty much choked," she said.

Crisp said the police and Ireland's communications watchdog had been unable to help.


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