Trouble and Tragedy at Cincinnati Zoo

Trouble struck at a Cincinnati zoo when a child fell into a gorilla enclosure. After a ten minute encounter, zoo officials shot and killed the 450 pound gorilla, named Harambe for fear of the boy’s safety. The boy was not injured, but many are expressing their outrage both, at the gorilla’s death and at the fact that the boy not stopped by his parents.

The incident occurred on Saturday at the Cincinnati zoo. The boy is reported to have been with his mother, siblings and another female caregiver. The boy managed to climb over the railing and fall into the Harambe’s enclosure. Some reports state the Harambe appears to care for the child and even helps the boy straighten out his clothes at some point. The gorilla did engage the boy- dragging him through the water by his leg.

The death of the beloved gorilla had sparked a public outcry and many have taken to social media in protest. However, Zoo officials say that, while the death of the animal was regrettable, the child’s safety had been threatened. Multiple home videos have since surfaced, showing that the gorilla was being aggressive towards the youngster as the authorities continue to defend their decision to kill Harambe. The tranquilizers, they say, would have taken too long and the child could have been seriously injured.       

While public outrage has spread over Harambe’s death, others are asking how it was possible for the child to get into the enclosure. Animal activist groups have called for a federal investigation of the zoo for violation of federal enclosure regulations. Others have criticized the boy’s mother for letting her child out of her sight. The boy’s family is reported to be under investigation for neglect since the incident took place.