Outrage directed at parents after Harambe the gorilla's 'senseless death'

By Litaletu Zidepa
30 May 2016

Harambe, a male gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo had just celebrated his 17th birthday when an incident involving a four-year-old child led to his ‘senseless death'.

The little boy allegedly crawled through the fence into the gorillas' ditch where he was hauled into the water by Harambe.

According to MailOnline, eye-witness Kim O'Connora reveals that the child wanted to get into the water before the incident occurred, but his mother – who was looking after other children replied, “No, you're not, no, you're not.” Kim added that she heard a splash followed by panic-stricken shouting from onlookers who saw him inside the enclosure. Footage that emerged reveals the chilling minutes Harambe dragged and pulled the boy, but ended up standing right by his side.

Kim told MailOnline that the gorilla seemed to be protecting the four-year-old boy from the frightened witnesses who may have made the situation worse by shouting. “I don't know if the screaming did it or too many people hanging on the edge, if he thought we were coming in, but then he pulled the boy down away further from the big group.” In the video that emerged on Saturday, a woman can be heard yelling, “Mommy's right here, mommy loves you,” before saying to the boy “Isaiah be calm,” when the four-year-old started crying. The Cincinnati Zoo's animal response team assessed the situation, which they deemed as ‘life-threatening situation’, defending their decision to shoot Harambe rather than calming him down.

Director Thane Maynard supported the zoo's dangerous animal response team for their decision to put down the 400-pound (181 kg) gorilla.

“They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy's life,” he said.

But thousands of outraged animal lovers took to social media stating the incident was unnecessary and the killing of the endangered gorilla was "murder".

More than 1000 Facebook users have joined ‘Justice for Harambe’ group. Many have protected the actions of the parents but others claim they lacked parenting skills and felt less sympathetic towards them. Isaiah was taken to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre where he was treated for his serious but ‘non-threatening injuries’.

The  zoo director noted that the incident was the first of its kind, the first time an animal had to be killed by the team in such an emergency situation, calling it a very ‘sad day’ at the zoo.

“The Zoo security team's quick response saved the child's life,”

“We are all devastated that this tragic accident resulted in the death of a critically-endangered gorilla. This is a huge loss for the Zoo family and the gorilla population worldwide.”

According to MailOnline, the zoo is to be open as usual on but Gorilla World will be closed until further notice.

Share some of your thoughts, is parent’s negligence to blame or was the zoo dangerous animal response team do a responsible thing to shoot Harambe?

Sources: Dailymail.co.uk, mirror.co.uk

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