Why World Gorilla Day?

World Gorilla Day creates the opportunity for people all over the world to come together in celebrating the gorilla, and more importantly, taking action to protect gorillas in the wild.

2017 was the inaugural year for World Gorilla Day and it also marked the fiftieth anniversary of Karisoke Research Center, operated by The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI). Established by Dian Fossey, Karisoke is the longest running gorilla field study site dedicated to the conservation, protection, and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. There are many great organizations and individuals dedicated to fighting for their survival, but greater awareness and investment are essential to gaining ground for gorillas. World Gorilla Day strives to be a rallying point for bolstering appreciation and action for these great apes.

As we mark our third anniversary of World Gorilla Day, we have much to celebrate as a community. The global mobile phone recycling challenge, “Gorillas on the Line…Answer the Call” came to a close on April 30, 2019. Twenty-two zoo and aquarium partners collectively hosted the challenge, recruiting schools and organizations within their local region to join the campaign. In total, the message reached more than 260,000 people, 56 groups across the country participated and collected 12,486 old mobile phones, and raised $6,055 to save gorillas in the wild! The 2019 challenge far surpassed the goals of engaging 10,000 people in collecting 10,000 cell phones.  This community engagement initiative was created by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA) Gorilla Species Survival Plan education advisory team to raise awareness about cell phone recycling and its benefits to gorilla conservation. The challenge, which kicked off in February took place over the span of three months and involved students, teachers, parents, zoo staff, and many others in collecting old handheld electronics to be recycled in the name of gorilla conservation. As we kick-off World Gorilla Day 2019, we invite all to answer the call for gorillas and participate in the 2020 mobile phone recycling challenge. Recruit local schools and businesses now using the Gorillas on the Line Recruitment.

Zoos, conservation stakeholders, and other interested organizations are invited to join the celebration on September 24 and help give a voice to one of our closest relatives.

Take Action

  • Get involved to help save gorillas. There are lots of things you can do.
    • Make a donation to support gorilla conservation.
    • Host a World Gorilla Day Event at your company/school/neighborhood. Click here to sign up.
    • Visit an organization hosting a World Gorilla Day Event near you. Visit the websites of our participating organizations listed below to find out more.
    • Recycle your mobile device – recycling your cell or smart phone, tablet, or MP3 player will help reduce the demand for ore that is mined in some gorilla habitats, plus you’ll help raise funds for gorilla conservation. You can drop off your device at a participating locationor click here for instructions to send it in yourself and be sure to list World Gorilla Day as the beneficiary.
    • Share a post on social media and tag #WorldGorillaDay. Click here for sample posts
    • Join the 2020 global mobile phone recycling challenge, “Gorillas on the Line…Answer the Call.” Click here for the recruitment template.

Resources

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Suggested Activities

Supporting Organizations

Please visit these institutions websites to learn how they are involved in celebrating World Gorilla Day!