This weekend a major tragedy was averted when a 3-year old boy was saved after falling into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
Zoo officials were forced to shoot Harambe- an extremely rare gorilla that is only found in the western lowlands that are close to mountains. This was a real shame because the poor creature had only been transferred to this zoo in 2014. Though the name Harambe is an African name which means group effort, the ape himself was born not in the jungles of Africa. Harambe was born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas in 1999. The tragic killing comes after Harambe’s 17th birthday was celebrated the previous day.
Most of the blame has been heaped upon the parents of the boy. Many have questioned the level of care and caution that parent visiting the zoo with a toddler should have exercised. Visitors are reported to have heard the hyperactive and extremely unruly child to declare his intention to meet with the gorilla before he apparently fell into the moat surrounding Harambe’s enclosure. Even casual readers have questioned the amount of time and effort it would have taken the child to climb up the main walls that were bordering the gorilla enclosure.
Animal activists have condemned the killing deeming it as an unnecessary act perpetrated by the sheer hasty decisions of the zoo officials in charge of the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. They have petitioned the authorities to order an inquiry as to why a tranquilizer gun was not thought of as the best way to deal with such a grave situation as this. On viewing the video of the whole incident, famous primatologist Jane Goodall said it looked more like the ape was trying to protect the child, and not kill him.