Mobile phone monkey business strikes at another zoo

# The monkeys stand for honesty, giraffes are insincere, and the elephants are kindly but they’re dumb  #

First it was Dublin, then Houston, and I’ve heard rumours about Milwaukee too. Now, a zoo in Brownsville, Texas, has been on the wrong end of a bizarre mobile phone spam campaign that has resulted in hundreds of people flooding its switchboard.

The Gladys Porter Zoo was reported to have been thrown into chaos last week after cryptic SMS text messages were sent to thousands of people saying things like

  • Call now someone is looking for you.
  • Call now and we will settle this.

and telling them to call a number.. the number of the Gladys Porter Zoo switchboard.

It sounds funny at first hearing – but pity poor Rachel, Gladys Porter Zoo’s receptionist, who has to answer all the calls and weed out the general inquirers from the curious mobile phone owners.  Is this just mischief-making or does someone have a grudge against these zoos?

For your interest, Gladys Porter Zoo is said to be the first zoo to have successfully bred the vulnerable Jentink’s Duiker.  No, I didn’t know what it was either.  Other animals they exhibit include the greater kudubontebok and bongo.

How marvellous it must be to have the job of naming animal species.  Forget the malware taxonomy the guys at SophosLabs have to do, anyone who can come up with a name for an animal like the bontebok or bongo is having real fun.

* Image source: wedding_planner04’s Flickr photostream (Creative Commons 2.0)