Working at Taronga Zoo involves a lot more than feeding of animals and cleaning out their exhibits. As a keeper, one of our most important roles is to speak and act on behalf of the animals in our care. We aim to educate and inspire people to care about the natural environment and the animals that rely on it for survival.
Many species in the wild, including the Western Lowland Gorilla, are currently endangered as a direct result of human impacts. Currently, the main threat to these beautiful animals comes from habitat loss due to illegal mining for minerals including Coltan. This mineral is used in numerous appliances and electrical goods that we all use on a daily basis and has been used in mobile phones. This is why Taronga Zoo has joined forces with Zoo’s around Australia in an effort to encourage visitors to recycle their old mobile phones.
Every mobile phone we recycle plays its part to help preserve gorilla habitat. This is the message that primate keeper Lisa Ridley shared with the children at Darlinghurst Public School earlier this week. Lisa gave a short presentation telling the children about our gorilla family at Taronga Zoo, and also explained the situation gorillas are facing in the wild. The children presented Lisa with 75 old mobile phones that they had collected from friends and family. These phones will now go towards raising money for the Jane Goodall Institute and help secure a future for primates in the wild.
This is the second primary school Lisa has visited in an effort to educate the community and inspire kids to care for the environment. It’s never too late to make a difference; sometimes one incredibly simple action like recycling an old mobile phone can have far reaching consequences, like saving a species from extinction.
More information on the They’re calling on you campaign can be found here:
Primate Keeper, Renae