Asheboro, NC – Join the North Carolina Zoo for our “Party for the Planet” Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 13, 2019, and help save gorillas in the wild. The Zoo is partnering with institutions across the globe as part of Gorillas on the Line…Answer the Call, a cell phone recycling initiative. Even taking small steps such as recycling old electronics can have a big impact on gorilla conservation.

Bring in an old cell phone, tablet, iPod or MP3 player for recycling and receive a coupon good toward a $2 admission discount on Saturday, April 13. Look for the recycling stations outside the North America or Africa admission booths.

A critical component of cell phones and other small electronics is a substance called coltan. One of the few places in the world where the metallic ore is found is in the forests of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo—right in the middle of gorilla habitat. Because of mining for coltan, their natural habitats are being destroyed, and gorillas are being displaced or even killed by poachers.

Gorillas on the Line (GOTL) is a global initiative created by the Gorilla Species Survival Plan through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. GOTL Program Coordinator Ben Jones of the Dallas Zoo says they have a goal to collect 10,00 cell phones from the 34 participating zoos. The total collected will be announced on World Gorilla Day, September 24, 2019.

The Zoo is actively involved in helping save gorillas in the wild. For more than a decade, the Zoo has been working with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) on implementing a range of cutting-edge technologies and approaches to conserve these unique animals.

One method is to train rangers on the frontlines in Africa in the use of SMART technology on rugged, hand-held devices to better track illegal activities and the movements of the gorillas. This system has now documented reductions in threats like snaring and hunting in many of the areas where the gorillas live. To learn more about the Zoo’s efforts on international conservation, please visit

The Zoo is home to a troop of seven western lowland gorillas:  silverback Mosuba, females Jamani and Olympia, adolescent male Hadari, and juvenile males Apollo, Bomassa and Dembe.


About the North Carolina Zoo

At the North Carolina Zoo, we celebrate nature. As the world’s largest natural habitat Zoo, we inspire a lifelong curiosity about animals for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit our Zoo each year. Our dedicated team of experts provides exceptional, compassionate care for the more than 1,600 animals and 52,000 plants that call our Park home. We also lead efforts locally and globally to protect wildlife and wild places because we believe nature’s diversity is critical for our collective future. The North Carolina Zoo invites all of our guests to witness the majesty of the wild in the heart of North Carolina and welcomes everyone to join in our mission to protect nature’s diversity. Visit to begin your life-changing journey.

About the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call 919- 807-7300 or visit