Hi everyone just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Lisa and I'm a primate keeper.
I started working with Australian animals before starting work with our apes and monkeys from tiny Cotton-top Tamarins to the very colourful De Brazza Monkeys, the ever-thinking Orang-utan, and the complex and family orientated chimpanzee, but my passion and fascination lies with the largest of the great apes, the gentle giants, the Gorillas.
Gorillas are the largest and most powerful primates, but they're very gentle.
They are the vegetarians of the rainforests of Central and Western Africa and will spend over half the day eating native fruits, tree branches and leaves, roots and bark, native spinach and celery.
The Western Lowland Gorilla and the Eastern Lowland Gorilla are both classed as critically endangered by habitat loss, the bush meat and pet trades, poaching, human disease and illegal mining.
As a primate keeper, I explain to zoo visitors what they can do help.
This year is ‘Year of the Gorilla’ and to raise awareness about the plight of this species we’re supporting a mobile phone recycling program because a rare mineral called coltan is used in manufacturing of mobile phones. Unfortunately, much of the world’s supply comes from Central Africa where gorillas live.
Each day at our keeper talks we encourage visitors to put old mobiles in postage-paid satchels we hand-out so they can send their old phones off to be recycled. Every recycled mobile reduces the demand for the mineral, keeps the phones out of land-fill and helps save precious gorilla habitat.
Well that’s it for me. I’ll back soon to introduce you some of our gorilla family members and also tell you more about what we are doing to help our closest living relatives.