In the aftermath of the tragic incident at the Cincinnati Zoo, we have received many inquiries from people wanting to know what they can do to help save gorillas and how to direct their passion for gorilla conservation at this time.
This is an important question and one that requires a multi-part answer. Successfully saving endangered gorillas in their habitat in Africa – which is the mission of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund – requires ongoing, long-term protection and monitoring in the forests every day. We do that for mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Grauer’s gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with teams of dedicated trackers, anti-poachers and scientists. This is an expensive effort and we are dependent on donations to carry out this critical aspect of gorilla conservation. Your support here is crucial.
Make your voice heard
For those in the United States, ask your lawmakers to continue to support the Great Ape Conservation Fund, which provides money and access to additional funds to support a number of field projects around the world.
Recycle cell phones and electronics
There are metals mined from gorilla habitat in the Democratic Republic of Congo that are used in cell phones and other electronics. If you commit to recycling your cell phones and other electronics, this will help reduce the demand for these metals (and the hunting that often occurs due to mining camps in the forests) and thus help protect gorillas and their habitat. Eco-Cell is one recycling company that gives back to conservation groups.
Look for sustainable palm oil, wood and other eco-friendly products
Similar scenarios affect other wildlife, such as endangered orangutans, whose forest habitats in Asia are being decimated by harvesting of trees for palm oil, which is used in food and cosmetics. A good conservationist will look for products that either avoid palm oil or use palm oil from sustainable sources. Looking for products made from sustainable wood sources is also important to protect critical forests.
Learn more about wildlife and share
It is important not only to learn more about gorillas and conservation needs, but to help others become more aware as well. There is important wildlife, including endangered species, everywhere that needs our care, attention and awareness. Make sure everyone you know understands that wild animals do not make suitable pets. This will protect both animals and people, and help reduce the worldwide exotic pet trade.