Hah, na wa o! There was an outrage at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio on Saturday after a Gorilla was put down to stop it from mauling a 4-year-old boy who fell into the animal’s enclosure. The Gorilla was shot dead about 10 minutes after it attacked the child.
The zoo officials and Cincinnati Police Department who used lethal force to put down the animal were reprimanded in a petition on Change.com signed by over 2000 people who called for the parents of the boy to be held accountable for their actions of not supervising their child.
The animal, named Harambe, was a Western lowland gorilla, an endangered species, and the zoo said it had intended to use him for breeding. Harambe was 17-year-old.
Neither the child nor his parents were identified by the authorities as the family could not be reached. The police said the child’s parents have not been charged but could eventually be charged by the Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney.
“Justice for Harambe” a Facebook page had more than 3,000 likes by Sunday afternoon, a day after the 400-pound (181-kg) gorilla was shot dead about 10 minutes after encountering and dragging the child.
According to eyewitnesses, the boy repeatedly expressed his desire to go into the gorilla’s den which he eventually did moments later as he was said to have crawled his way into animal’s habitat through a barrier and fell 12 feet into the animal’s surrounding. He was immediately picked up by Harambe, the Gorilla.
Some aggrieved persons took to social media to express their outrage at the animal being taken down.
Manvinder Singh wrote this on the Facebook page: “If we think it’s acceptable to kill a gorilla who has done nothing wrong, I don’t think our city should have gorillas.”
According to blogger Jennifer O’Conner, “A 17-year-old gorilla named Harambe is dead, and a child is in the hospital. Why? Western lowland gorillas are gentle animals. They don’t attack unless they’re provoked.”
Zoo president Thane Maynard said on Saturday that it was the first time in the Zoo’s 38-year history that an unauthorized person was able to gain access to the enclosure.
Maynard said: “They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy’s life,” he said, adding that a member of the zoo’s Dangerous Animal Response Team fired the shot that killed the ape.
The child was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.