Justice for Harambe the Gorilla, Killed by Zoo

Gorilla by Brocken Inaglory

Target: Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo President

Goal: Make reparations for death of critically endangered gorilla by implementing protections to prevent additional tragedies.

A critically endangered Western lowland gorilla, Harambe, was shot and killed by zookeepers at the Cincinnati Zoo following an incident in which an unattended child fell into the animal’s habitat. Zoo president Thane Maynard admitted that the child “was not under attack,” but that the gorilla was killed because the child was “at risk.” Many have demanded to know why the animal was not shot with a tranquilizer, a response that could have removed the child from potential danger while preserving the life of the gorilla. Zoo officials have failed to offer an acceptable explanation.

Western lowland gorillas are broadly categorized as critically endangered, with an estimated 125,000 living in the world today. That the survival and well-being of every gorilla is of crucial importance to the future of the species as a whole makes the killing of Harambe even more incomprehensible. Worse, the senseless death of this particular animal will almost certainly engender negative impacts on the other gorillas in his family structure.

The Cincinnati Zoo acted rashly in its killing of Harambe, and action must be taken to ensure that additional tragedies do not occur. Though no action on the part of the zoo could ever make up for this animal’s lost life, future steps for the zoo should include an apology, reparations in the form of a sizeable contribution to a dedicated gorilla conservation group, and the institution of safety measures to prevent future accidents of this type. Demand that the Cincinnati Zoo hold themselves accountable for this irreversible, tragic error.


Dear Zoo President Thane Maynard,

We are shocked and appalled at the death of Harambe, the critically endangered Western lowland gorilla that lived for years at the Cincinnati Zoo. Though we understand that responders were concerned for the child’s safety, it is outrageous that persons with such responsibilities as this job requires were not properly equipped to respond without resorting to deadly force. Had the animal been shot with a tranquilizer dart, the child would have been removed from danger and the animal would still be living.

We, the undersigned, understand that every gorilla’s life is sacred and crucial to the survival of the species as a whole, and we know that Harambe’s death will likely negatively impact his family group. We ask that you hold yourselves accountable for Harambe’s death by committing to a public apology and sizeable donation to a committed gorilla conservation group. We hope that you will also implement an extensive safety plan to prevent future accidents of the kind that resulted in this senseless killing.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Brocken Inaglory

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  1. sabita patwardhan says:

    Stop these shitty, shitty people. Animals want to be with their own in the fri nature , and have families, not wake up day after day after day to entertain these bastards.

  2. cheryl lyman says:

    i think that all zoos should have slats that are less than what an arm can fit through and also that the bottom be so no human especially children can climb under .i also believe in the future that under no circumstances unless all measures as used should an animal be shot .when i say all measures i mean lure the animal away with food or tranquilize

  3. simon rickman simon rickman says:

    Another thing is, this kid is gonna grow up known as the shit who ‘killed’ Harambe. That’s a burden I wouldn’t want, or wish on anyone! Was he to blame in any of this? Should we care? Indeed, does anyone? Nah, let’s keep on at the crappy parenting.

  4. Daniela Bress says:

    „They would do exactly the same“, „it was necessary to save a child“, „anasthesia would have been the insecure alternative“, … bla, bla, bla, they use the fear for the boy to cover up their inability, how disgusting …

    … – what about, immediately getting those hysterical spectators away that made Harambe fear for the boy’s safety, when quiet, luring him away from the corner where he tried to hide the kid, no matter if he would have taken it with him or not, he would most probably have calmed down with the familiar voices of his caretakers and without those screaming crowd around him and the little child he was trying to protect, where were those calm, assertive and trained persons who are able to handle special situations with the animals they use to make profit?

    Maybe anasthesia would have been enough and reasonable during a proper management of this situation, maybe it would not have been necessary at all …

    Anyway, we will never know because of incompetent staff, inadequate safety measures of the zoo’s enclosures, irresponsible parents, a sensation horny crowd, laws and ordinances that make animal exploitation even legal, …

    … a 3-year-old has been able to go into a gorilla enclosure that had been declared „safe“ by the USDA?
    NO ONE is responsible?
    ALL have done their best?

    Sorry guys, a 3-year-old has proven that NONE of you is able to make profit with captive animals properly, responsibly or let alone, in a decent manner; you’re OBVIOUSLY overtaxed with everything taller than a prairie dog, period.

    All those zoos need to be banned, finally, but until then, at least the remaining Gorilla’s should be sent to a reputable sanctuary!

  5. The morons that shot this beautiful gorilla need to be shot. As for the kid his mother should be put in jail for not being a responsible parent. I’m sick of hearing about the poor kid….This is one reason I hate zoos, circuses and all the other shit that takes advantage of animals…

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