17 Year Old Gorilla "Harambe" Dies After A 4 year Old Jumps into A Gorilla Pen
|17 Year Old Gorilla "Harambe" Dies After A |
4 year Old Jumps into A Gorilla Pen
|Statue Of Harambe The Silver Back|
The small child said he wanted to get in the water before the incident, to which the mother, who was
also watching several other children, replied: 'No, you're not, no, you're not,' according to one witness Kim O'Connor.
The zoo's animal response team assessed the 'life-threatening situation' and defended their decision to shoot Harambe rather than tranquilize him, but thousands took to social media to call it a 'murder'.
O'Connor told WLWT she heard the boy talking about getting into the water before she heard a splash, followed by frantic yelling once onlookers realized he was inside the enclosure.
A video emerged on Saturday revealing some of the chilling moments Harambe was dragging the boy in the water, although more graphic portions were cut from the footage.
According to O'Connor, the gorilla looked like he was trying to protect the boy from panicked bystanders who may have aggravated the tense situation.
|Harambe And The 4 Year Old|
In the video that emerged on Saturday, a woman can be heard yelling, 'Mommy's right here...mommy loves you,' and before saying 'Isaiah be calm,' when the boy started crying.
Director Thane Maynard supported the zoo's dangerous animal response team for their decision to put down the gorilla.
'They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy's life,' Maynard said.
But outraged animal lovers took to social media declaring the western lowland gorilla's life was unnecessarily taken, and more than 1,000 have already joined the Facebook group Justice for Harambe.
While some defended the parents, many others were less sympathetic.
One Twitter user wrote: 'So a beautiful, innocent gorilla has to die because neglectful parents can't control their kids? Mankind sucks :( #Harambe #CincinnatiZoo'
The gorilla was not tranquilized because when the animal is agitated, Maynard said, the tranquilizer may not take effect right away. This was the first time Cincinnati Zoo officials have killed an animal in this manner, Maynard said.
The zoo also said this is the first security breach at Gorilla World since it opened in 1978.
The zoo houses 11 gorillas, according to its website. Gorilla World will be closed indefinitely, but the zoo will open as usual Sunday, the zoo said.
In March, two polar bears breached security and made it into a secure hallway, but not loose in the zoo, before they were contained.