Harambe: Gorilla remembered 5 years after shot dead, Cincinnati Zoo blamed for 'cold-blooded murder'

On May 28, 2016, the 17-year-old western lowland gorilla was shot dead after a 3.5-year-child fell into his enclosure


                            Harambe: Gorilla remembered 5 years after shot dead, Cincinnati Zoo blamed for 'cold-blooded murder'
Harambe was shot dead when a child fell in its enclosure (change.org)

CINCINNATI, OHIO: It’s been five years since Harambe, a gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo, was shot dead after a child fell in its enclosure. On May 28, 2016, the 17-year-old western lowland gorilla was shot dead after the 3.5 years child fell into his enclosure. His death sparked controversy, with many blaming the parents of the child and the zoo authorities for his death.

According to reports, the ape was born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Texas in 1999. The name -- Harambe -- was given to him after a song by Bob Marley's wife Rita. In 2014, he was shifted to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden for him to get familiar with other gorillas. However, he could not survive there for long. Two years later, the child, after climbing a three-foot fence and crawling through some bushes, fell inside Harambe’s yard.

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The people present began screaming and yelling with fear, which resulted in the 450-pound Gorilla getting distressed. He then started moving around the little one and also reportedly dragged him around the retaining pool in the enclosure. The situation became tense. “The DART [Dangerous Animal Response] team member determined the child’s life to be imminent, life threatening danger and shot the gorilla with a single gunshot and the gorilla died instantly,” an inspection report by the United States Department of Agriculture stated.

The report added: “The boy was recovered, no major injuries were apparent at the time of his recovery. No other animals were harmed in this incident. All standard operating procedures relating to the Dangerous Animal Response Team were properly followed.” After the killing, several people raised the question of whether it was right to kill Harambe. Zoo director Thane Maynard said, “The child was being dragged around ... His head was banging on concrete. This was not a gentle thing. The child was at risk.” Primatologist Frans de Waal told National Geographic: “A gorilla is so immensely strong that even with the best of intentions - and we are not sure that Harambe had those - the child's death was a probable outcome.”

At the time, a petition was also launched to get justice for the ape. The message on the page, which was signed by over 500,000 people, read, “That proper LEGAL action is taken in this matter and responsible parties are held accountable if the investigation finds that there was negligence involved.”

Not just that, Elon Musk also wrote a rap song in honor of Harambe. The lyrics were, “RIP Harambe, Sipping on some Bombay, We on our way to heaven, Amen Amen, RIP Harambe, Smoking on some strong, In the gorilla zoo, And we thinking about you.”

And, now on the fifth anniversary of Harambe’s killing, people on Twitter paid tribute to him as well as criticized the manner of his death. One user said, “Imagine someone coming into YOUR personal space and YOU get killed for it.” The second user tweeted, “Controversially? More like cruelly slaughtered because a negligent parent couldn’t be bothered to watch their child.” “Should have at least "winged" the parents for not controlling their child !!! Was the selfies worth it whilst your child happened to wander into the enclosure ??? Humans are the World's most deadly creatures on earth, & reputedly the smartest but not all of them !!!” the third added.



 

 



 

A tweet read, “Beyond controversial - it was cold-blooded murder. Zoos are businesses that cater more to giving humans a chance to see nature in a convenient setting, than about conserving or rehabilitating animals. Animals need to preserved in their natural environment, not brought to cities.” Another noted: “@CincinnatiZoo I'm blaming you still; You had 100% 0 reason to shoot him dead  And not use a tranq which you are fully prepared with; You are cause for his death to this day.”



 

 



 

 



 

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