CINCINNATI — Tragic news as Harambe the gorilla was shot dead after he was seemingly protecting a young boy who crawled under a railing at the Cincinnati Zoo and ultimately fell into a moat within the gorilla’s enclosure.
Harambe, the endangered lowland gorilla who turned 17-years-old yesterday, fell victim to the shooting. He was killed by the zoo’s animal response team 10 minutes after the incident. Although two other gorillas within the enclosure were called out after the boy fell, Harambe stayed in the yard. He was the victim and was a prime example of the cost of captivity for endangered wildlife. The boy’s non-life threatening injuries were treated at a local children’s hospital.
Zoo director Thayne Maynard said that the boy crawled through the railing and fell into the moat just before 4 p.m. Saturday. “The gorilla was not tranquilized because when an animal is agitated, the tranquilizer may not take effect right away. This was the first time Cincinnati Zoo officials have killed an animal in this manner.
“It is a rare occurrence that gorillas have killed humans in the wild. There have also been other incidents of gorillas showing sensitivity for human life. One example is of a similar occurrence during which a boy fell into a gorilla enclosure and escaped unharmed.
Captivity has been known to cause both physiological and behavioral chronic issues for captive species including, altered reproductive cycling and behavior, reduced immune responses, disrupted hormone and growth levels, reduced body weight, heightened abnormal activities, and aggression. Such stress reactions are caused by sounds, light conditions, odors, temperature and humidity conditions, material make-up of enclosures, habitat size constraints, lack of proper hiding areas, forced closeness to humans, routine husbandry and feeding conditions, or abnormal social groups.
The western lowland gorilla is considered to be critically endangered by the IUCN as a consequence of the bush meat trade and timber industries.
Zoos and captivity are a thing of the past. We must work towards protecting wildlife and endangered species in their native habitat where they belong.
Source: WLWT CincinnatiWikipediaPhoto Credit: www.freemalaysiatoday.com Join Us and be a “Voice For The Voiceless”. Please Share our articles, follow us on social media, and sign up for our newsletter!”One Person CAN Make A Difference
By: Katie Cleary