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Get involved in the ‘Gorillas on the Line’ campaign

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Saving the Gorillas

(WBNG) -- The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is asking you to answer the call for the campaign, 'Gorillas on the Line.'

It's the first year the zoo is taking part, and it's asking community groups and organizations to join too, by collecting some everyday objects.

"They go out and collect small electronics, mobile phones, and send them to another organization which recycles them," said education manager at the zoo, Melissa Grippin.

Many electronics, including cell phones, have coltan in them. That's a mineral typically mined from areas where gorillas live, an already vulnerable species.

"Gorillas are incredibly endangered in the wild and the pressure is on them, particularly from mining, it's really great so there's a lot of issues with gorillas in the wild and their numbers have really decreased," said Grippin.

If there's less of a demand for coltan, there's a better chance for gorilla habitats in Africa.

"Recycling these things helps to protect gorillas in the wild, and also the recycling also generates funds that goes directly back to gorilla conservation," said Grippin. "Gorillas are really only found one place in the world and if we lose them, we lose them forever in that region. So it's really important to protect the species and protect the individuals we have left in the wild."

The group that collects the most items to be recycled will be invited to the zoo on World Gorilla Day in September.

"As a thank you, we'll have them come in for a little guided tour and a little ceremony, thanking them for their generous collection," said Grippin.

The campaign runs from February to April, and if you want to get involved you can reach out to Melissa Grippin.

Contact her at (607)724-5461 ext. 235 or by email at to register a team.

Once items are collected, shipping to the organization that recycles them is free.

In addition, the Binghamton Zoo will become a regular collection site, outside of the campaign.

Annie Flaherty

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