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Cycling orangutan recruited/exploited to front Thai cycle helmet safety campaign

Primate said to like cycling with his lid on, authorities say kids should do likewise

A bicycle-riding orangutan has been recruited – some might say exploited – to become the figurehead of a road safety campaign in Thailand.

Bam, aged 8, lives at Dusit Zoo, where a road safety campaign was launched by the government last Friday, and according to Metro enjoys riding his blue bike complete with stabilisers.

The newspaper, which has a gallery of pictures of Bam and two fellow orangutans on their bikes, adds that he does so while wearing his cycle helmet, a message that the campaign presumably wants to reinforce to children.

According to Metro, an average of 559 road traffic accidents are reported in Thailand each day, causing 616 injuries and 52 deaths, although no source is quoted.

Bam isn’t the only animal in Thailand who apparently likes life in the saddle if these pictures of (helmetless) dogs on motorbikes are anything to go by… although in this case, we’re hoping the engines are switched off.


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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