Saint Louis Zoo Accused of Racially Insensitive Halloween Decorations

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click to enlarge Oof. Yeah, um. Yikes. - STL Zoo Facebook page
STL Zoo Facebook page
Oof. Yeah, um. Yikes.

Halloween is approaching quickly and the St. Louis Zoo is decked out for their "Boo at the Zoo" event for kids. They've got pumpkins, hay bales, graveyards, and even ghosts that fly from the trees.

"It's beginning to look a little spooky around here!" the zoo's Facebook account said yesterday, accompanied by a picture of the ghosts-in-tree display.

But things immediately took a bad turn in the comments.

"Are those slaves?" someone wrote.

Uh oh.

Zoo spokeswoman Susan Gallagher says the effigies' intended visual effect -- white robes floating on air -- is really only visible at night.

"They had dark faces because in the nighttime when the light was shined on them they were supposed to look like they're faceless," she explains.

But view the figures during the day (or, say, photograph them with one of their hoods fallen back) and they are unsettling:

OK, so, yeah that does not look great.

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