Birthday Celebration Also Raises Awareness At Philly Zoo

by John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A birthday party at the Philadelphia Zoo was raising awareness for endangered species, and simple ways we can all help to save their lives.

Visitors and staff sang happy birthday to Motuba, a Western lowland gorilla. The silverback turns 32 on Monday.

Motuba lives in a troop with two adult females and his five-month-old daughter. Another baby is on the way.

The three adult gorillas are in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan breeding recommendation program.

8-year-old Lalayla Schwable of Willingboro was there with her school learning about gorillas and other endangered species.

She tells us about the simple things we can do at home all in the name of animal conservation.

“We can save electricity. We can save water,” said Lalayla.

How does does saving energy and recycling save animals?

Primate Curator, Marina Haynes

“Its actually about climate change. Because anything that we can do that reduces energy impact can help mitigate the effects of climate change,” said Marina Haynes, Primate Curator.

Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered in the wild for several reasons, including climate change, poaching, and habitat loss.

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