What is World Gorilla Day?

I know one may be wondering what this day is! Launched in September 2017, World Gorilla Day is a day that was set to celebrate one of our closest relatives, the gorilla! The World Gorilla Day is an awareness day or a day to take action geared toward celebrating gorillas as well as empowering global communities to take action for all four gorilla subspecies mountain gorilla, Cross River gorilla, western lowland gorilla and Grauer’s gorilla) and their conservation.

The World Gorilla Day is annually on September 24th, the same day that Dian Fossey established Karisoke Research Center in 1967. Due to intensive protection, mountain gorillas that habit in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park have improved from critically endangered to endangered, one step further from extinction though still a small population of about 1,000 individuals. All other subspecies of gorillas are still critically endangered and facing serious declines including the lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo.

Gorilla trek safaris Uganda/ gorilla trekking Uganda, gorilla safaris Congo/ Congo gorilla safaris, & gorilla tours Rwanda/ gorilla trekking Rwanda tours are one of the most sought activities done by travellers on Africa safaris or interested in Africa wildlife safaris.

About Karisoke Research Center

2017 was the inaugural year for World Gorilla Day and it also marked the 50th 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. However, 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.

Did you know World Gorilla Day is also naming day for the baby gorillas?

World Gorilla Day is an extra-special celebration this year. The name of Lulu’s male infant, who has his 2-month birthday on World Gorilla Day, will be revealed with the gorillas.

How do you get involved in the world gorilla day celebrations?

The quickest way of participating in the World Gorilla Day is by posting a gorilla video or gorilla photographs on this day.

Another best way to do this is by educating your friends, family, and coworkers about gorilla conservation. You can do this by talking to them, sharing our posts on social media or you can even directly support us by buying gorilla printed T-shirts, trekking gorillas and many more.

bwindi forest national park

Activities you can do for World Gorilla Day

Interested in participating in World Gorilla Day from home, you and your family can try a fun and educational World Gorilla Day activity like a Uganda gorilla tour/ Rwanda gorilla tour/ Congo gorilla tour around the house or engage the classroom kids!

Another activity would be ‘Groom like a Gorilla’! For those that have encountered gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda, gorilla trek safaris Rwanda or Congo gorilla trekking tours have at least seen Gorilla moms spend time grooming their infants as a form of bonding, and also to improve health. To groom like a gorilla, all you need is a gorilla stuffed animal and some small clips. Attach the clips to the hair of the gorilla and let someone else “groom” the gorilla to get them off!

The best fun activity would be to forage like a Gorilla. This game is fun. Gorillas spend a large portion of their day foraging for food, which means they have to search for their food! To forage like a gorilla, get a large basket and hide a few colored balls or blocks to represent food or grass, shredded paper, and probably leaves! You can even have someone go through the material to find all of the hidden ‘food’ items!

New campaigns on board; 2020 global mobile recycling challenge! “Gorillas on the Line…Answer the Call.”!

Recycle your old cellphone and other electronics

Recycling your old cellphone and other electronics is one simple contribution you can make to help the wild gorilla population. As we celebrate this World Gorilla Day 2019, invite friends and family to answer the call for gorillas and participate in the 2020 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.

Coltan, a type of mineral used in electronics like cellphones and laptops, is found in and mined out of wild gorilla habitats. However, the process of mining coltan involves not only destruction of gorilla habitats to unearth the minerals, but the presence of numerous people in the forests to operate the mining sites.  To feed these people, wildlife is hunted from the surrounding forests. This can include gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, and many other species. Without these animals, there will be no interesting Africa wildlife safaris particularly Uganda wildlife safaris, Rwanda wildlife safaris, Congo wildlife safaris and many more.

Due to this, we ask you to simply recycle your old electronics instead of throwing them away. When we recycle electronics, we can reuse the coltan, which ultimately decreases the need for mining in gorilla habitats! You can even join the 2020 global mobile phone recycling challenge, “Gorillas on the Line…Answer the Call.”!

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