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Gorilla Killing in US Prompts Backlash on social media
People, Environment

Gorilla Killing in US Prompts Backlash on social media

Animal rights activists are reacting strongly on social media after a gorilla was killed at a zoo in Cincinnati, USA on Saturday.
The 17-year-old male gorilla named Harambe was shot by a team at the zoo after a toddler fell into his enclosure. Video emerged of the terrifying incident, which showed the gorilla handling the four-year-old boy.
The zoo had to make a call on whether the situation was life-threatening for the child. The Cincinnati Fire Department incident report stated the gorilla was violently dragging and throwing the child. The zoo made the call that the boy was in severe danger and Harambe needed to be put down, Mashable reported.
Tranquilizers can take several minutes to work, so the team decided that the best course of action was to shoot the western lowland gorilla. Lowland gorillas are endangered and Harambe was a beloved member of the zoo.
“The child was not under attack, but all sorts of things could happen,” Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard said at a press briefing. “He certainly was at risk.”
Despite the experts making the difficult call, a number of people on social media have had a strong reaction to the death of Harambe, with the hashtag #RIPHarambe getting traction on Twitter.
Many people blamed the boy’s parents for not protecting him, while others believe the zoo did not do enough to keep people out of the enclosure. A Facebook page “Justice for Harambe” has also been created.
More than 60,000 people have also signed a special petition, calling for the boy’s parents to “be held accountable for the lack of supervision and negligence that caused Harambe to lose his life”.
Responding to the criticism, Maynard said in a Facebook post: “We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child’s life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made.”

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