Facebook pages and online petitions have started circulating after members of the public went to social media to express their outrage at the Cincinnati Zoo’s decision to shoot a gorilla after a four-year-old boy crawled through the enclosure.
At Change.org, a petition titled Justice for Harambe, has been signed by more than 60,000 people. The petition argues that the parents of the boy should be charged with neglect after allowing their child to breach the enclosure.
Cincinnati Zoo’s director Thane Maynard said the special zoo response team made the decision to shoot and kill the 17-year-old gorilla after the gorilla grabbed the boy who fell into the exhibit moat on Saturday.
The decision, Maynard said, was “not made lightly.”
Harambe, a 17 year-old male Western Lowland Gorilla got a hold of the boy after the boy fell in.
The gorilla was perceived as dragging and throwing the boy and the zoo made the last-resort decision to shoot Harambe because of the increased risk of aggression if a tranquilizer was used in such close proximity to a human.
This heartbreaking decision was made in the best interests of keeping the child and the public safe.This beautiful gorilla lost his life because the boy’s parents did not keep a closer watch on the child. We the undersigned believe that the child would not have been able to enter the enclosure under proper parental supervision. Witnesses claim that they heard the child state that he wished to go into the enclosure and was actively trying to breach the barriers. This should have prompted the parents to immediately remove the child from the vicinity. It is believed that the situation was caused by parental negligence and the zoo is not responsible for the child’s injuries and possible trauma.
Another petition, also at Change.org is calling for a Harambe’s Law. Harambe, as a Western Lowland gorilla, is part of an endangered species.
In light of the recent tragedy at the Cincinnati Zoo in the death of Western Lowland Gorilla Harambe and the enormous loss of this CRITICALLY ENDANGERED animal, we would like to pass Harambe’s Law, so there are legal consequences when an endangered animal is harmed or killed due to the negligence of visitors. If this law is enacted, it will not only protect the animals, but will hold individuals accountable for actions resulting in harm or death of an animal.
Here is one of the last videos captured of Harambe just before he was killed.
See more photos of Harambe and other animals at http://www.CincyPhotography.com