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Killing of Harambe

Coordinates: 39°08′41″N 84°30′36″W / 39.144684°N 84.510079°W / 39.144684; -84.510079
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Killing of Harambe
A memorial for Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo
DateMay 28, 2016; 8 years ago (2016-05-28)
Time4:00 p.m. EDT
LocationCincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, U.S.
Coordinates39°08′41″N 84°30′36″W / 39.144684°N 84.510079°W / 39.144684; -84.510079
CauseGunshot

Harambe was a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. On May 28, 2016, a three-year-old boy climbed into a gorilla enclosure at the zoo and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla. Fearing for the boy's life, a zoo worker shot and killed Harambe. It was recorded on video and was shown on news services around the world. There was a lot of argument about the decision to kill Harambe.

Aftermath[change | change source]

A number of primatologists and conservationists said that the zoo had no other choice under the circumstances, and that they did the right thing. Harambe was killed one day after his 17th birthday. The boy was given a trauma assessment and taken to a children's hospital; where his injuries were non-life-threatening.[1]

The boy's mother also became the target of harassment on the internet and social media.[2] On June 6, 2016, the Ohio prosecutor said that the mother would not face any charges of wrongdoing.[3] The zoo was being investigated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which sets the standards for zoos, and the USDA.[4]

Experts Jack Hanna[5] and Jane Goodall defended the zoo's actions in killing Harambe.[6]

Harambe[change | change source]

Harambe was born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, on May 27, 1999. He was named by Dan Van Coppenolle, a local area counselor who won a naming contest sponsored by the zoo.[7] He came up with the name after listening to the 1988 song "Harambe (Working Together for Freedom)" by Rita Marley, widow of Bob Marley.

Pop culture[change | change source]

Several internet memes were made, and the director encouraged people to stop.[8] In Australia, people joked about supporting Harambe's corpse as a write-in candidate on the ballot for the federal election.[9] Public Policy Polling included Harambe in their polling for the U.S. presidential election. Harambe had 5% support in late July 2016 (ahead of Green Party nominee Jill Stein) and 2% in August 2016 (tied with Stein).[10][11]

References[change | change source]

  1. "3-Year-Old Who Fell Into Cincinnati Zoo's Gorilla Enclosure Expected to Recover". ABC News. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  2. Chai, Carmen. "Harambe's death: Is the parent-shaming over gorilla's death going overboard?".
  3. CNN, Madison Park and Holly Yan. "Gorilla killing: 3-year-old boy's mother won't be charged". {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  4. Jane Goodall (June 19, 2016). "Jane Goodall, Azzedine Downes together offer thoughts on tragic Harambe killing". International Fund for Animal Welfare. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  5. "Jack Hanna defends Cincinnati Zoo's decision to kill gorilla". USA Today. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  6. Melissa Chan (June 20, 2016). "Jane Goodall Says Zoo Was Right to Kill Harambe the Gorilla". Time. Yahoo! News. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  7. Bigfoot Journeys (January 27, 2014). "Announcing the name of a baby lowland gorilla, "Harambe"". Archived from the original on 2021-12-18 – via YouTube.
  8. "Stop talking about Harambe, our dead gorilla, zoo pleads". The Independent. 2016-08-23. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  9. Hunt, Elle (July 2, 2016). "Vote for Harambe: Australian election gives second life to Cincinnati zoo gorilla". The Guardian. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  10. Firozi, Paulina (August 17, 2016). "Poll: Jill Stein tied with Harambe, trailing Deez Nutz in Texas". The Hill.
  11. Silverstein, Jason (July 31, 2016). "Harambe the dead gorilla would fare well as independent presidential candidate, poll says". Daily News. New York.