Western Lowland Gorillas are critically endangered, with wild gorilla numbers down by 80%.
The dramatic decline is due to one major threat: "Man", through poaching, pet trade, bush meat trade, human diseases, habitat loss and illegal mining for a mineral called "Coltan". Coltan is a rare mineral that is found in most of our electronic devices but especially in our mobile phones. But there is something you can do to make a difference.
In 2009 Taronga Zoo launched the "They're Calling on You Campaign" to recycle old mobile phones. Earlier this year Taronga expanded its efforts by putting up new signsa at the front of the gorilla exhibit explaining why and how mobile phone recycling helps save wild gorillas. The campaign is an easy way to make a small difference to our closest living relatives.
When you upgrade you mobile phone, simply donating your old mobile helps reduce demand for minerals from gorilla habitat. The money raised from removing the mineral and refurbishing the mobiles goes directly towards the Taronga Foundation and the Jane Goodall Institute Conservation Program including primate conservation and education work in Africa. To date we have collected over 15,600 mobile phones and raised over $31,000.00.
When you visit the zoo next, pick up a postage paid satchel at the entrance or the Gorilla exhibit. If you have a company or school that also would like to get involved or you just want more information on the campaign you can find out more here.
Primate Keeper, Lisa