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With seven billion mobile phones in the world, it has become more important than ever to raise awareness of how these devices are impacting the planet.

Twycross Zoo is an award-winning conservation charity that is committed to protecting endangered species. The zoo has recently undertaken survey to demonstrate the impact mobile phones are having on the planet and particularly one of its endangered species – the bonobo.

The results found in the survey revealed that most people have owned over 10 mobile phones in their life and over half of us keep broken mobile phones at home in a drawer or simply throw them away.

Each mobile phone contains coltan, 85 per cent of which is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the only place on Earth where wild bonobos live. The constant need for this mineral has led to a devastating 90 per cent of bonobo habitats being destroyed, and sadly, as a result, this species is in rapid decline.

Worryingly the survey found that two thirds of all those surveyed didn’t realise the detrimental effects that mass mobile phone production is having on our planet and due to this lack of knowledge found that 10 per cent said it is absolutely necessary to have the latest phone available, while 70 per cent admit to never using a second-hand phone.

However, on a more positive note, 70 per cent of those unaware of the harm caused by mass mobile phone production want know to more, which is where Twycross Zoo comes in.

The Midlands conservation charity is educating people on how they can help make a difference and has launched a much-needed mobile phone recycling scheme at the zoo. This means all mobile phones, in any condition, collected at Twycross Zoo, will be sent away and refurbished, or the minerals inside will be reused to make new phones, making a huge difference to bonobo conservation and protecting their habitats.

Matyas Liptovszky, Head of life sciences at Twycross Zoo, commented: “In a day and age where the whole country is so influenced by technology it’s no surprise just how many mobile phones are being produced. The biggest surprise has been the most harm this is causing to bonobo habitats.

“Our survey has revealed some really interesting results and if we recycled all the mobile phones we had stored away in our drawers it could mean less manufacturing and mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo – where wild bonobos live. We hope our survey and results have helped raise awareness of bonobos and ensure people make different decisions when it comes to changing their mobile phones.”

Twycross Zoo supports conservation projects from Belize to the Congo including the world’s only sanctuary for orphaned bonobos, Lola ya Bonobo. By visiting Twycross Zoo you are contributing to the planet and supporting its mission to protect endangered species in the Democratic Republic of Congo and across the world.

Those looking to recycle their mobile phones can head to Twycross Zoo and hand them in at Guest Services. Phones can also be sent via post to ‘Guest Services, Twycross zoo, Burton Rd, Atherstone CV9 3PX’.

A day out with a difference, visitors to Twycross Zoo this half term can book online and get tickets for just £11* per adult and £5.50* per child – working out at just £33* for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children). BOOK ONLINE HERE.

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