Forests inspire wonder, give us oxygen to breathe, and provide habitat and food for an array of plants and animals. In fact, forests are the most dominant terrestrial ecosystem on Earth and are home to 80% of the world’s biodiversity on land….including gorillas!
Gorillas are the largest and most powerful of all primates. With a genetic makeup almost 98% similar to humans, they are one of our closest living relatives. There are three species of Gorilla: Western Lowland (20,000 + in the wild), Eastern Lowland (about 5000 in the wild) and the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas of Uganda/Rwanda (only about 500 only in the wild). Like us, they live in family groups, experience sadness and joy, and even make and use tools to survive. Sadly, vast areas of their forest homes have been lost through deforestation for timber and the mining industry.
How can I help?
Every single minute we lose 48 football fields worth of forest. This includes gorilla habitat, which is mined illegally for a rare mineral called coltan, found in mobile phones. With more people buying mobiles than ever, and only 10% of phones recycled globally, gorillas and at least 10 other African primate species are under threat.
By simply recycling an old mobile phone, the pressure on gorilla habitat is reduced and money raised from refurbished mobile phones supports conservation projects in Africa.
All you have to do is bring your mobile phone to the Zoo next time you visit!