Thank you, Oklahoma City! The Give for Gorillas Cellphone Challenge saw 52 donations in November for a grand total of 154 devices and accessories given in 2018! What a great success and even greater environmental impact.
All of the electronics donated to the Zoo will be disposed of following strict environmental guidelines by our partners at the ECO-CELL Recycling Program, which will then use the resulting parts to refurbish new phones to be sold in developing countries. Any devices that cannot be resold are recycled sustainably and without using landfills.
Small electronics frequently contain the substance coltan. Eighty percent of the world's known coltan supply is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mining for coltan threatens the habitats of gorillas, chimpanzees, okapi and many other endangered species.
Not only will this decrease the need to mine for more substances like coltan – a process that can have a damaging impact on the habitat gorilla populations need to survive – but 100 percent of the Zoo's proceeds will be donated to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, one of the Zoo’s conservation partners, for additional support.
Visit www.okczoo.org/take-action for more information. Learn more about the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s fight to save gorillas at gorillafund.org/get-involved.
Learn more about the effects that coltan has on gorilla habitats at our Great EscApe keeper chats, happening daily at 1:30 p.m. at the Zoo!
– Stephanie Smith, animal caretaker