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Zoo News Blog

Commit to Saving Gorillas in 2020

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to find new ways to save animals in the wild? Well, we have just the program for you! Registration for the 2020 Action for Apes challenge is OPEN! Each year, the Houston Zoo runs the Action for Apes Challenge, in which community groups and organizations can sign up and compete against each other to recycle the greatest number of cell phones and small electronics by the end of APE-ril. These electronic devices contain a material called tantalum that is mined in areas where gorillas live—if we reuse and recycle these items, we can decrease the amount of mining that takes place in these vital habitats. In 2019, we had an estimated 7,057 participants across the greater Houston area and beyond recycling electronics to save wildlife!

By joining this year’s challenge, you aren’t just contributing to a local effort to save species—you’re contributing to an effort that has gone worldwide! The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) launched a global, mobile phone recycling challenge, Gorillas on the Line…Answer the Call, based on the Houston Zoo’s very own Action for Apes Challenge. This challenge will reach zoos and aquariums across the nation and the world to engage thousands of students, schools, community organizations and businesses to answer this important call: to help save gorillas in the wild. In 2019, Gorillas on the Line included 21 zoos, reaching 260,000 people, who helped raise over $6,000 for gorillas!

Thanks to participation in this challenge and year-round electronics recycling on Zoo grounds, Houstonians have helped the Zoo to recycle over 17,000 handheld electronics to date, saving species like gorillas, chimpanzees and okapi! Want to help us get to 20,000 by the end of 2020? Sign up today for Action for Apes and start collecting your devices beginning Feb. 1!