“Ape charities have thanked the subreddit r/WallStreetBets after its members raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative highlighted the work of the community this week after a wave of the Redditors symbolically adopted gorillas and posted images of their donation certificates to the messageboard.
A representative for The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund told Newsweek that r/WallStreetBets members had raised at least $333,000 as of Tuesday.
The trend started on Saturday last weekend after a user shared an image of an adopted gorilla made under the donor name ‘GameStop,’ a reference to the stock trading frenzy in January that saw r/WallStreetBets users disrupt hedge fund short sellers.
Within hours, r/WallStreetBets, which has over nine million members, was full of posts from others who were adopting animals—and raising money for charities.
‘It’s safe to say that the investor community on @reddit is not traditionally who we think of as our supporter base. But they definitely surprised and overwhelmed us over the weekend,’ The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Twitter account said Monday, adding that the conservation effort had received more than 2,000 new donations in three days.
It added: ‘You can *bet* those funds will go straight into our field programs, where 365 days a year we’re tracking, monitoring and studying wild gorillas and their habitat.’
In a separate statement on Twitter, Jared Taglialatela, the director of the Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative in Des Moines, Iowa, said his own group, which is dedicated to the Bonobo species, also saw ‘amazing support’ from r/WallStreetBets.
One community member who adopted a mountain gorilla under the name ‘F*ck Melvin Capitol’—a reference to one previously-targeted hedge fund—told Newsweek the trend started after user pakistani_in_MURICA posted their gorilla adoption certificate.
The member, who uses the handle Ass-Kickin_Chicken, said they had been inspired by that act of good will, and the community’s slogan of ‘Apes Together Strong.’
In a Reddit message, they wrote: ‘The fact that the donation increased to $333,000 not long ago is amazing. It shows how acts of good will, even when done as an individual, can influence other people to follow suit and do the same. Overall I, along with many other wallstreetbetters, are happy that we did something good in this world.'”
View the whole story here: https://www.newsweek.com/gorilla-charities-thank-reddit-wallstreetbets-users-raising-333000-1576574