Gamestop Reddit investors adopt 3500 gorillas

Subreddit WallStreetBets raised more than $500,000 for The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
Subreddit WallStreetBets raised more than $500,000 for The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Photo credit: Getty / Twitter @SavingGorillas

Reddit's WallStreetBets community has adopted around 3500 gorillas, raising more than NZ$500,000 for a gorilla protection charity.

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which protects endangered mountain gorillas, says they were "overwhelmed and "surprised" by the generosity of the subreddit 

"Our adoption programme is one of our main grassroots fundraisers," the fund wrote to Twitter. 

"In a typical weekend, we might get 20 new adoptions. This weekend, the numbers astonished us." 

The adoption programme allows members of the public to symbolically adopt a gorilla by donating NZ$80 to $200. The adopter then receives an adoption certificate, photos and videos, and updates on their gorilla.

In a video posted to Reddit, the fund's president Dr Tara Stoinski thanked WallStreetBets (WSB) saying their support will "go a long way" in helping the charity's "important mission." 

The same subreddit gained traction earlier in the year for hiking the price of Gamestop stock by 1625 percent within a matter of days. By encouraging investors to buy stock and hold on to it the community boosted the price, stinging hedge funds who had bet against the failing company. 

Now WallStreetBets is using its powerful influence to aid in the conservation of gorillas. 

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund just as confused as anyone else as to how the investing subreddit turned into conservation heroes, saying to Twitter: "It’s safe to say that the #investor community on @reddit is not traditionally who we think of as our supporter base."

The charity explaining a member of WSB posted their adoption certificate for infant gorilla Urungano to the subreddit on Saturday with a reference to the WSB motto #apestogetherstrong.

Immediately the adoptions caught on, soaring by 2000 in two days. 

According to knowyourmeme, the phrase Ape Together, Strong, often used by WSB, is from the Planet of the Apes films and refers to how apes working together can be stronger than humans. 

The saying used to represent a turning point in the stock world where the average investor can take on hedge funds just as the subreddit did with Gamestop. 

According to BBC WSB had 2 million members at the start of 2021 which increased to 10 million by March, following the Gamestop hype.

The post on adopting gorillas has been upvoted over 113,000 times. Dian Fossey Gorilla fund says the money from the adoptions will go "straight into'' their field programmes, "where 365 days a year we’re tracking, monitoring and studying wild gorillas and their habitat, and helping people who share their home."

In the past, the subreddit has joined forces to make donations and buy crayons for schools, and shout chicken tenders for hospital workers.