ZOO Wroclaw Recycle your old phone- save okapi!
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Recycle your old phone- save okapi!

2019-10-18
Recycle your old phone- save okapi!

World Okapi Day 2019.

The war for the natural resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been going on for almost 25 years. It has taken millions of lives, but its victim is also nature - countless species of plants and animals. Because of our rush to have the newest smartphone model, many species may soon become extinct. One of them is okapi. Zoo Wrocław and the Dodo foundation are collecting used phones for recycling to support the protection of animals in Africa.
For three years already, Zoo Wrocław has been collecting old, unused or broken cell phones. They are recycled and the funds obtained this way are sent to reliable organizations that save endangered animals of Africa. One of them is the Okapi Conservation Project.

Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is an extremely rare mammal of the giraffe family, an endemic inhabiting only the Ituri and Maiko forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This species was discovered quite late, in 1901. It has been under protection since 1932! Although it partially looks like a zebra (thanks to white stripes on the rump), it is genetically a close cousin of the giraffe. Like many other species, it is a victim of our growing consumerism.

By buying a new cellphone model every year, or throwing away a working laptop or palmtop to buy a new one, we stimulate the demand for rare metals such as tantalum, gold, tungsten and tin, which are used in the production of these devices. They are obtained at the expense of the natural environment - habitats for countless species of plants and animals. Tantalum for example, is used to produce very small capacitors, which are necessary for almost all electronic devices (including cell phones and computers). It is obtained from coltan ore, mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Australia, Brazil and Canada. It's hard to believe, but as much as 64% of the world's coltan deposits are located in the Democratic Republic of Congo - the last place where wild okapi still live.

World Okapi Day is October 18. It is the perfect opportunity to remind you that we are not alone on Earth, that we live thanks to the complex and connected ecosystem of our planet, where each element is interrelated and interdependent. Concern for African nature is a concern for our survival as a species.

- We have collected over 70 kg of phones so far. Thanks to them, we supported the projects of saving okapi, African penguins, oryxes, manatees and fennecs. We urge you to give away old, unused devices. We ask you to think twice before you decide to buy a new camera while the old one still works well. We are glad that consumer awareness is growing, because more and more people are giving up disposable plastic bags, reading labels and choosing products with eco certificates, limiting the purchase and consumption of meat, and giving up the pursuit of the latest clothes collection. Now it's time for the next small-big step - says Anna Mękarska, a species protection specialist at the Wrocław zoo and the originator of the action.

Telephones can be delivered in person to the ZOO Wrocław Customer Service Office at Z. Wróblewskiego Street 1-5,  51-618 Wrocław or shipped to the same  address.

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