A Passion To Save Gorillas Makes One 11-Year-Old A ‘Hero’

Posted on in category Positive News

Kids are in the news with stories of their passion and action to bring awareness to climate change, social issues and protecting animals. Greta Thunberg’s action and recent speech at the U.N. is an example.  These are inspiring stories and yet it seems odd that children are having to take on such large issues. Nevertheless, we are inspired by their truth and dedication to making the world a better place.

From the Washington Post by Dara Elasfar

When Meredith Bastian was 8 years old, she went to the National Zoo to get help with a school project. She interviewed the curator of primates at the time and asked her about wild gorillas. Fast-forward 34 years, and Bastian is the curator of primates at the zoo. This summer she talked to a girl who shares her passion for the primates. Read the full story HERE.

“What is the difference between a gorilla in the zoo and a gorilla in the wild?” asked Addy Barrett, an 11-year-old who raises money to save gorillas.

There isn’t much of a difference between an ape in the wild and an ape in the zoo, Bastian said. Every animal has a personality, just like every human does. They can be shy, friendly, playful or aggressive.

Addy, a regular visitor to the zoo, never gets tired of watching the gorillas interact. She tugged her mom’s shirt with excitement when 1-year-old Moke was chased around the outdoor enclosure.

“It wasn’t until I read a book about gorillas that I really fell in love with how smart they are and how they relate to us,” Addy told Bastian while sitting in front of the zoo’s Great Ape House. “I learned they were being poached and killed for reasons that I felt were unnecessary. I needed to do something.” Addy is now a sixth-grader at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Germantown, Maryland, working to save her favorite animal species. She has sold T-shirts and homemade cookies for the cause, and she hosts an annual Gorilla Gala. Addy was recently named a winner of the 2019 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes for her work to raise $7,000 for conservation groups such as the Ellen Fund and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.