[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 13:24 GMT
Mobile boost for conservationists
Gorilla peeking through bushes (Image: FFI)
The service is informative and fun
If you have ever wondered what it is be like to monkey around as a gorilla, you can now have a go at ape life on your mobile phone, all for a good cause.

Flora and Fauna International (FFI) and Vodafone Live! have teamed up to provide a gorilla game and downloads of wildlife images, sounds and news.

All profits made from the downloads will go straight to conservation work.

FFI said it is about "putting conservation in your palm" because although fun, people learn facts too.

Tiger texts

The conservation charity, which tries to protect threatened creatures and plant life around the world, told BBC News Online using mobiles to raise awareness of conservation makes sense since so many own them.

Conservation workers counting hatchlings
We really want people to engage in a community of interest
Karen Hayes, FFI
"We thought about how we could use mobiles to really communicate about conservation," said Karen Hayes director of FFI corporate affairs.

"We wanted to engage people in issues that are relevant to them. In that way, conservation will become relevant."

If mobile users have a particular interest in an area of conservation, like gorillas or tigers, they can choose to be sent diaries and updates by SMS from conservation teams actively working with the endangered animals.

"We really want people to engage in a community of interest," said Ms Hayes.

"If they are interested in tigers in Indonesia, we will ask them how much they want to be sent."

FFI said Vodafone's commitment to donating 100% of the money made from Wildlive downloads was "extraordinary" and showed a real demonstration of commitment to their work.

Monkeying around

One of the downloads includes a specially-commissioned java game, developed by mobile games company Masabi.

Screenshot of the Silverback game (Image: Masabi)
There are many pitfalls the gorilla has to avoid
Silverback incorporates platform game play, as well as accurate facts about gorilla habits.

It was developed in six weeks, but only after months of planning and brainstorming with animal experts to get the educational aspects correct.

"The preconception people have about gorillas is that they sit around eating bananas," explained Tom Godber, Masabi's chief executive.

"So we have one eating a bananas, and a pop up bubble comes up to say that they actually don't eat them, they eat mostly leaves instead," he said.

Players take on the role of a baby gorilla which develops over eight levels. The gorilla is separated from its family and has to fend for itself, escape poachers, as well as forest fires, and raise a family of its own.

Ringing tunes come to UK mobiles
04 Dec 03  |  Technology
Mobiles ring with sounds of the wild
07 Jul 03  |  Technology
Mobile games to 'tempt women'
03 Oct 03  |  Technology
Phones, tones and mobile music
08 Jul 02  |  dot life
Mobiles ring in to new symphony
18 Jul 02  |  England


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific