Local News

Outrage at killing of gorilla after child gets into enclosure

A gorilla has been shot and killed at a zoo in America, after a four-year-old entered his enclosure.
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Animal lovers from across the world have expressed their disgust at the killing of a gorilla over the weekend, after a four year old child found his way into his enclosure.

Gorilla Harambe, who had turned 17 just the day before, was filmed dragging the child through water for about ten minutes before being shot by the zoo’s response team.

According to onlookers at the Cincinnati Zoo, the child was heard asking his mother if he could go in the water, before they heard a loud splash and realised he was inside the enclosure.

Bystanders then panicked as they watched the boy be dragged around, and a woman in the video can be heard yelling: “Mummy’s right here…mummy loves you,” before adding “Isaiah be calm,” when the child started crying.

The incident has caused outrage on the internet, with many blaming the parents for the senseless killing after allowing the child to slip into the animal’s enclosure.

More than 9000 people have liked the Facebook page Justice for Harambe.

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Zoo officials have defended their decision to kill rather than tranquilise Harambe, saying they made a tough choice, but ultimately saved the little boy’s life.

Director of the zoo Thane Maynard told WLWT:

“You’re talking about an animal that’s over 400 pounds and extremely strong. So no, the child wasn’t under attack but all sorts of things could happen in a situation like that. He certainly was at risk.”

He added that tranquilising Harambe would have taken too long and left the child still in danger.

Western lowland gorillas are considered critically endangered by the World Wildlife Fund, and Cincinnati Zoo leads the way in terms of number of births in captivity.

Maynard added: “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.”

The boy was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery. It is not known how he fell into the enclosure.

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