Students raise money to adopt wild gorillas in honor of Macy - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Students raise money to adopt wild gorillas in honor of Macy

BLYTHEWOOD, SC (WIS) -

Some students and teachers at Round Top Elementary in Blythewood have followed Macy the gorilla’s story at Riverbanks Zoo from the beginning.
 
The say it’s inspired them to make a difference for gorillas in the wild, and at the school’s Aviator Carnival over the weekend, the students asked the community to help them.
 
“We’re raising money to help the gorillas and do something special for Macy,” said Charlie, a kindergarten student at RTE.
 
What started as a classroom lesson for Ms. Timmerman kindergarten and Ms. Williams’ second grade students is now leading to a lesson in life
 
“It first started when we read the book 'Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla,'” said Joel, a second-grade student, as he talked about the children’s book that is based on a true story.
 
“We read the story and they were completely intrigued,” said kindergarten teacher Nichole Timmerman. “A couple of days later I was walking through my living room and you were on telling us that Macy was going to have a baby here at Riverbanks Zoo.”
 
The students had to know more and asked their teachers if they could do a Google Hangout with Riverbanks.
 
“We figured out gorillas are endangered so we decided to make a booth here at the carnival and raise enough money to adopt a family of gorillas,” said Sawyer, another second-grade student.
 
“We researched different organizations and found one, The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, that allows students to adopt gorillas,” said second grade teacher Cathy Williams.
 
“We’re trying to raise 400 dollars, because a silverback costs $300, and a mother and a baby cost $100 so we’re trying to get the whole troop together and save it,” said another student named Christopher.
 
The students said it was staff at Riverbanks Zoo that inspired them to adopt a family after the asked what they could do for Macy while she was pregnant. The classes said they wanted to do the fundraiser even more so when they found out Macy’s baby did not survive.
 
“They were sad, we were sad, I explained that I was sad too,” said Timmerman. “But we focused on all of the positives that we had heard on Beyond the Banks in fact, I took your words and quoted, ‘The story is not over.’”
 
With the possibilities still endless for Macy and Riverbanks Zoo, the students said they want the same for their wild counterparts.
 
“We’re telling them to come up to the booth because we think that everybody should save endangered species like gorillas,” said Danielle, a second-grade student.
 
“It’s because we don’t want gorillas to go extinct because we think they are really cool, so we’re trying to help save them,” added Joel.
 
By the end of the Aviator Carnival the students had reached their goal of raising $40,0 which means they will be able to adopt a silverback, a mother and a baby gorilla in the wild.
 
As far as Macy at Riverbanks Zoo, the troop is slowly returning to its normal routine and gorilla base camp has been back open since the middle of last week.

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