TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – ZooTampa is holding a recycling drive for guests’ electronics alongside its celebration of the endangered okapi species this weekend.
The okapi resembles a zebra and lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa, though the zoo said despite its looks, it’s more closely related to the giraffe.
According to the zoo, old cell phones and other items containing a metallic ore called “coltan,” as well as the process for mining it, are a leading cause for deforestation in central Africa.
“When the metal is taken from these animal habitats, their homes become disrupted, and these animal populations and other plants and animals species in the same habitat decrease,” the zoo said.
Recycling your old cell phones and other handheld electronic devices decreases the need for mining.
“…ultimately protecting habitats and saving wildlife,” the event’s Facebook page said.
The items will be collected in front of the Zoo School from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 16. Things that can be recycled include mobiles, computers, tablets, cable boxes, hard drives, modems, routers, flat-screen monitors, printers and more.
Things that can’t be recycled include glass bulbs, large home appliances, TVs, household batteries and paint, varnish and other chemicals.
ZooTampa supports the Okapi Conservation Project and donates the efforts surrounding World Okapi Day.