Our team is fortunate to have such a remarkable and endearing gorilla as Moke. The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers his species critically endangered in the wild due to ongoing threats from the commercial bushmeat trade, the Ebola virus and the spread of logging, which has increased gorillas’ vulnerability to poaching.
I encourage you to join in our celebration of Moke’s birthday by taking action to help his counterparts in the wild. One simple action you can take is to ensure your purchases are made from sustainably harvested wood and palm oil. By doing so, you help conserve gorilla habitat.
Another simple way to help is to recycle your old electronics, including cell phones, laptops, MP3 players, tablets, game consoles, hearing aids, and GPS navigation systems. These devices contain an ore that is mined in areas adjacent to where gorillas live. By recycling your old phones at appropriate centers, you are ensuring that the ore can be reused in future phones, reducing the demand to mine.
Last but not least, visit and support zoos like ours that participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan and Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) programs, which work to conserve this species both in zoos and in the wild. When it is safe for Smithsonian’s National Zoo to reopen, we hope that you will make a special stop at the Great Ape House to greet our growing gorilla, Moke, and his troop!
Love Moke? Read the latest updates on him and all of the Zoo’s gorillas here. Our whole team works diligently to care for our animals and keep you connected to the Zoo. With your support, our conservation mission continues. If you can, please join us in this important work by making a donation today. On behalf of the animals we care for and work to protect: thank you.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.