Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is partnering with World Gorilla Day for Gorillas on the Line…Answer the Call, a cell phone recycling campaign beginning on February 1 through April 30. For gorilla conservation, guests will have the option to leave old mobile phones, iPads, iPods, cameras and chargers in secure locations for recycling.
With taking the small step of recycling old electronics, the public can help protect gorilla habitat in Africa by reducing the need for coltan. Coltan is a rare mineral compound used in cell phones and other small electronics to increase their speed and battery life. Approximately 80 percent of the world’s supply of coltan is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home of the Eastern gorilla which is listed as Critically Endangered on International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. In order to reach these rare minerals, trees are being cut down and earth is dug up destroying gorilla habitat in the process.
“We are happy to participate in the Gorillas on the Line campaign because we feel very strongly about its mission of saving gorilla habitat,” said Dennis Pate, president and CEO of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International board member. “By bringing awareness to the issue and providing easily accessible recycling points, we hope the Omaha community will join us and help make an impact for this incredible species that needs our help.”
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium with World Gorilla Day, Eco-Cell and other zoos and aquariums around the country hope to combine their efforts and ultimately collect 10,000 cell phones and electronics for recycling throughout the campaign.