Mariah Nablo

The Gorilla Girl – Saving Gorillas One Cell Phone at a Time!

When Mariah Nablo was six years old, she watched a TV show that talked about problems faced by mountain gorillas in Africa. She learned that they were in danger of extinction because their habitat was being destroyed.  The cause of this trouble was people illegally mining for Coltan, a material used to make cell phones.  Mariah was so moved by what she learned that she wanted to do something about it.  But what?

Her inspiration came when she was visiting the Buffalo Zoo.  She saw a sign and collection box that said “Answer the call of the wild. Recycle cell phones and help save gorillas.”   This is when she learned about an organization called Eco-Cell.  Through Eco-Cell, she realized that one way she could help protect gorillas was to collect cell phones for recycling.  This not only keeps cell phones out of landfills, but reduces the need for Coltan and illegal mining.

So, at age 6, Mariah became the youngest Eco-Cell Conservation Partner.  With the help of her parents, she launched her charity, Mariah Saves Gorillas

Mariah is now 16 years old!  And her organization, for the past 9 years, has collected thousands of cell phones and kept e-waste out of landfills! And, more recently, Mariah has been spending her time educating people about the environment, our devices and their impact on the gorillas.

Mariah and her charity are helping make the world a little bit better, one recycled cell phone at a time!  This video tells Mariah’s inspirational story.

The video tells the story of Eco-Cell

Additional Resources:

  • Here’s the Mariah Saves Gorillas website, where you can learn more about Mariah’s wonderful cause!
  • Learn more from Mariah about Gorillas and the impact of e-waste
  • Check out other inspiring stories and videos from IMK on the environment and animals
  • Here’s an IMK post about a teenager who helps the environment by recycling e-waste!

Topics for Discussion:

  • Why is it so important to help the environment and the animals in it, as Mariah does?
  • What qualities do you think Mariah has that help motivate her efforts?
  • What is something you can do to help the environment?

Take Action:

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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