Celebrate World Gorilla Day every day
Hey everyone, it’s Holly from the Gorilla Care Team! Recently, we celebrated World Gorilla Day on September 24. What exactly is World Gorilla Day, you ask? It’s an amazing day dedicated to celebrating the largest species of apes and to educating the world about gorillas and their conservation. The primary focus is connecting humans and wildlife together to inspire conservation action.
Here at the Zoo, we celebrated our wonderful apes by giving them some special enrichment like large hanging ice treats, as well as lots of wood wool to play or nest with. On the public side, our Education Team set up education stations on the gorilla deck to teach about the gorillas in our care, as well as conservation efforts you can participate in to save gorillas.
World Gorilla Day is celebrated on the anniversary of the day that researcher Dr. Dian Fossey began her groundbreaking research on mountain gorillas in Rwanda. They are the only subspecies of gorilla that is not critically endangered, falling into the endangered category instead thanks to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Their research and funding have saved mountain gorillas from being critically endangered, proving that people’s efforts can and do make a difference. Zoo Atlanta is proud to partner with such an amazing organization that is doing so much for gorilla populations!
There are two species of gorillas, each with two subspecies: western lowland gorillas, mountain gorillas, Cross River gorillas, and Grauer’s gorillas. Three species of gorillas are critically endangered, meaning that they are at a high risk for extinction in the wild. There are several reasons gorillas are becoming critically endangered, habitat loss being a major factor. Found in gorilla habitats is a mineral called coltan. Coltan is used in our cell phone batteries to protect them from overheating. While it’s an important mineral for us to have, mining it in gorilla habitat is destroying their home and their populations. Recycling your handheld devices is an awesome way to help gorillas. More recycling means more gorilla habitat is left undisturbed.
Gorillas are an important keystone species within their habitat, and losing them would be detrimental to the environment. We are grateful for all the efforts that go towards their protection and for days like World Gorilla Day that promote these wonderful apes and all they do!
Gorilla Care Team