Zoos SA painted the CBD khaki today when we took chimpanzee conservation to the streets!
This morning, two zoo keepers descended on prominent Adelaide businesses to collect old and unused mobile phones in honour of World Chimpanzee Day this Sunday.
Staff from Adelaide Oval, the Department for Environment and Water, Channel 9, Nova and 5AA all handed over their old phones to support the cause.
The average Australian upgrades their mobile phone every 18-24 months and this is having a significant negative impact on chimpanzees in the wild.
Chimpanzees are losing their habitats in the wild due to excessive mining for coltan, the mineral used in many electronic devices.
Zoos SA is proud to work with PhoneCycle to divert mobile phones from landfill, but also to reduce uncontrolled coltan mining and save chimpanzee habitats.
Sadly, chimpanzees are highly endangered with as little at 350,000 remaining in the wild. The biggest threats they face are habitat loss from mining and logging, palm oil plantations, disease and illegal wildlife trade.
Monarto Zoo Senior Primate Keeper Laura Hanley said donating used phones was an easy way for people to make a real difference to chimpanzees in the wild.
“Most people have an old phone or two lying around, so it’s fantastic to see people rally around the cause and donate them to us in honour of World Chimp Day,” Laura said.
“We were absolutely thrilled with the response from the businesses we visited today, we’ve now got a few full boxes which is fantastic and will really go a long way.
“Not only does donating an old phone help reduce coltan mining, but through our program we also raise money which directly supports the on-ground work at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone.
“Chimpanzees are such a special species and now they’re calling on you to help save them, so please dig out your old phones and bring them in when you visit Monarto Zoo this World Chimp Day!”
Working with PhoneCycle, we’ll recycle or refurbish your old phones, eliminating the need for extraction of new raw materials, and provide these refurbished phones to those who can’t afford them.
As a conservation charity, we work to help save chimps from extinction through involvement in international breeding programs and by supporting the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Jane Goodall Institute of Australia.