San Diego (CA) Photos

January 30, 2009

Keeper Nate asks everyone to recycle old cellphones

My picture today is San Diego Zoo Keeper Nate, caretaker and spokesman for the lowland gorillas.   Nate is dedicated and passionate about the survival of lowland gorillas, both the ones at the zoo in his care and those in the wild. He ask us all to help by recycling old cellphones. What’s the connection? Well, cell phones contain a rare ore called coltan (short for columbite-tantalite) which is found in central Africa. The popularity of cellphones has increased mining operations in wildlife reserves including Kahuzi-Biega National Park and Okapi Wildlife Reserve. Illegal miners invade the “protected” parks and endanger the native gorillas. How can you help? Turn in your old cell phone to any recycling program where you live.   The recycled cell phone will reduced the need to mine more coltan and help protect the wild gorilla habitat.   Nate thanks you, I thank you and so do these beautiful primates.   



  1. Hi Walker, that’s a very interesting angle to recycling. I will keep this in mind next time I recycle one of my cell phones. Now that we’re on the topic, I try to use as little resources as practically possible anyway within reasonable limits. And whenever something can be used more than once I do so. Especially things like packaging. If at some point I do have to discard of it, I try to do so in as environmentally friendly way as possible. Luckily we have a lot of recycling programs here, so it’s easy. Wish more people would think and act this way, but it will come some day.

    Comment by Marc — January 31, 2009 @ 3:12 am

  2. We are all getting more into green. Amazing how little things we do has such a big impact. Until Keeper Nate I did not know how important it was to recycle old cell phones.

    Comment by washaw — January 31, 2009 @ 3:34 am

  3. I saw Baby Frank on Monday… I went for a walk at the zoo and just happened to be there when they brought the 5 mo old out and then when they brought the bigger guys out too. Baby Frank is soooo cute! I heard the cell phone call out too! I had no idea how cell phones impact the gorillas! I was so glad to get the information! Thanks for putting it on your blog!

    Comment by Leigh Ann, aka, The Daughter — February 4, 2009 @ 10:36 pm

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