In January this year, the WallStreetBets subreddit surprised the finance world when its massive user base bought up GameStop shares in numbers that couldn’t be ignored. Now, those users are making a dent again, but this time it’s in the form of $338,000 raised for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
The gorilla-adopting trend comes from “apes together strong,” one of the subreddit’s favorite memes. The phrase, taken from Rise of the Planet of the Apes, refers to the power the sub’s individual investors can leverage against large investment firms when they work together. The meme has resulted in WallStreetBets users referring to themselves and each other as “apes,” which has now caused users to give some of their profits to benefit real-life apes.
Users of the subreddit started posting screengrabs of the gorillas they had adopted through the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, often under names that included WallStreetBets, Gamestop, or GME. The trend caught on to the point where the charity publicly acknowledged WallStreetBets, keeping a running tally of the amount its users had raised. At the time of writing, the charity’s latest update attributes over $338,000 in fundraising to the subreddit.