Over the last few months subreddit r/wallstreetbets went viral for financially king hitting hedge funds attempting to short Gamestop stock. Now the community is giving back by donating to a gorilla conservation fund.
Gorillas are a central focus of the movement, with the front page of r/wallstreet bets being full of topics related to their adoption.
One thread, titled ‘This MFer is probably is richer than me right now’ links to an adoption certificate made out to ‘Jim Cramer’s Tears’. Another is made out to ‘Fuck Melvin Capital’ – a dig at the hedge fund that was at the centre of the Gamestop shorting debacle.
The vast majority of donations seem to be directed towards the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. The organisation is the largest and longest running group in the world that focuses specifically on Gorilla protection, habitat conservation as well as scientific research.
“This helps our staff and park management develop the most effective conservation strategies, as we learn about gorilla life, ecology, health, genetics and more,” the website reads.
“The most-effective conservation strategy is direct, sustained protection of wild animal populations. This is the foundation of our work.”
The fund makes a point that the adoptions are symbolic, with the “proceeds from adoptions support[ing] our daily gorilla protection efforts in Rwanda and nearby Democratic Republic of Congo.”
Over the weekend the director of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund released a video thanking r/wallstreetbets for the amount of gorilla adoptions that were being made on behalf of the group.
It’s currently unclear just how much money the adoptions have raised, but we do know that $US77,000 (roughly $99,000) was raised in just one day. The contributions have been so significant that the president and CEO of the fund, Dr TaraStoinski, released a video thanking Wallstreetbets.
“I’ve just been made aware that you’ve been adopting gorillas via our website. I just wanted to say thank you so much for this incredible support,” Stoinski said in the video.
The fund also shouted out Wallstreetbets on Twitter.
“Wow! We are overwhelmed by the support we are seeing from @Official_WSB and people from around the world! We have raised $77k already today! Thank you all,” the fund said over the weekend.
I adopted this Little guy! ???????? pic.twitter.com/BOuSjrT4f8
— Jordan Rantucci (@JordanRantucci) March 14, 2021
Back in January r/wallstreetbets came into the spotlight after causing an exponential short squeeze of Gamestop stock. This resulted in heavy profit losses for at least one hedge fund, Melvin Capital as well as a class action lawsuit against Robinhood.
The brokerage app limited the number of shares of ‘meme stocks’ that could be purchased on the platform, resulting in outrage from users and questions from regulators as well as politicians on both sides of the aisle in the U.S.
While Gamestop stock subsequently plummeted, it recovered in recent weeks. At the time of writing it is sitting at $US264.50 a share.