/ 24 April 2008

Zoo: No more calls for Anna Conda, please!

Dublin Zoo appealed to the public on Thursday not to be taken in by hoax SMSs that have led to its switchboard being jammed by an estimated 100 000 calls in two weeks.

People are receiving SMSs to their cellphones asking them to ring the zoo’s 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 the zoo had previously received 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. — Sapa-AFP