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Help save gorillas by recycling cell phones

Hello! I’m Allie, a Seasonal Primate Keeper. I have the pleasure of telling you guys about our beloved western lowland gorilla, Kuchi. At Zoo Atlanta, we have a whopping 20 gorillas! They are divided into five groups: three bachelor groups, one geriatric group and one family group. Kuchi is part of the family group of 10 gorillas, including Taz, Lulu, Kudzoo, Sukari, Henry, Merry, Andi, Anaka and Mijadala. Recently, Kuchi celebrated her 34th birthday, as she was born on 10/10/1984! Kuchi is the oldest female in the family group and is the mother of Lulu, Kali and Henry. Kali’s twin sister, Kazi, now lives at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

Although the western lowland gorilla is currently the most widespread and numerous of the four gorilla subspecies, all gorillas are endangered. Why is that? Poaching, habitat destruction, and the commercial bushmeat trade are some of the major threats today. However, there is a simple way to help save gorillas, and anybody can do it. There is a metallic ore called coltan which is found in the homeland of all gorillas, Africa. This mineral is found in our everyday devices: cell phones, tablets, computers, and more, and prevents this technology from overheating. Sadly, this means that there is a very high demand for this product. When there is a high demand for coltan, companies go out and mine the gorilla habitats in search of this mineral. The gorillas have nowhere else to go.

Okay, now for the good part. In order to save gorillas… one really important thing you can do is… recycle! Recycling your handheld devices and other advanced technology keeps the demand for coltan down, meaning that less habitat is mined, resulting in happy gorillas! We will gladly accept your old devices here at Zoo Atlanta and do all the work for you! Please tell all your friends and family next time you’re ready to get new electronics, that you can recycle your old devices and save gorillas!
Allie Coronado
Seasonal Keeper, Primates

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