New video shows gorilla protecting boy before being killed by zoo authorities

Published: May 30, 2016
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The gorilla Harambe. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

The gorilla Harambe. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

A gorilla that was killed over fears it was going to hurt a boy who fell into its sanctuary in an American zoo was actually protecting him, new footage of the incident has revealed.

Workers at Cincinnati Zoo in the US state of Ohio had shot and killed a gorilla after a three-year-old boy fell into its enclosure.

According to eyewitnesses, the animal, named Harambe, was not exhibiting any aggressive behavior towards the boy who had fallen 12 feet into the enclosure, reported the Mirror.

It was claimed that screams from the onlookers actually panicked the big animal and prompted him to drag the child at a quick speed through the water.

The footage also showed the boy too did not look terrified as he sat beside the massive animal.

US zoo kills gorilla after boy falls into enclosure

Petition

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 people signed a petition on Change.org that sharply criticised the Cincinnati Police Department and the zoo for putting down the animal.

It has called for the child’s parents to be “held accountable for their actions of not supervising their child,” Reuters reported.

PHOTO COURTESY: VIRALHOG

Cincinnati police on Sunday said the parents had not been charged, but charges could eventually be sought by the Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney.

Harambe as a young gorilla. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

Harambe, was a Western lowland gorilla, an endangered species, and the zoo said it had intended to use him for breeding.

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“If we think it’s acceptable to kill a gorilla who has done nothing wrong, I don’t think our city should have gorillas,” Manvinder Singh posted on the Facebook page, “Justice for Harambe” created after the incident.

A blog post on the website for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also questioned why it was necessary to kill the gorilla and whether zoos could meet the needs of such animals.

“A 17-year-old gorilla named Harambe is dead, and a child is in the hospital. Why?” blogger Jennifer O’Connor wrote. “Western lowland gorillas are gentle animals. They don’t attack unless they’re provoked.”

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At other US zoos, similar encounters have ended in tragedy, including the 2013 fatal mauling of a two-year-old boy by a pack of wild African dogs after he fell into an exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

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A man who in 2012 jumped into an enclosure at New York’s Bronx Zoo to be “one with the tiger” suffered bite wounds and other injuries but survived.

But there was a happy ending when a three-year-old boy fell into the gorilla den at Brookfield Zoo near Chicago in 1996, and an eight-year-old female gorilla named Binti Jua picked up the unconscious boy and protected him from the other primates.

The act of kindness won Binti Jua national attention as Newsweek‘s Hero of the Year and one of People’s most intriguing people.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Azfar bilal
    May 31, 2016 - 12:10AM

    A human life takes precedence over everything each and every time.Recommend

  • Brainy Bhaijan
    May 31, 2016 - 12:45AM

    Everyone becomes an analyst in hindsight. The people who stand on the ground have to take a split second decision and cannot be blamed willy-nilly.Recommend

  • Nasir Shah
    May 31, 2016 - 12:53AM

    Gorilla was not protecting the kid. Infact it violently dragged the boy holding kid’s leg. Kid survived because of water. In Lahore zoo many years ago a gorilla ripped apart a little baby after snatching him from his parents. Wild animals don’t understand what is protectionRecommend

  • May 31, 2016 - 3:51AM

    Since the gorilla was killed, everybody joins the bandwagon blaming the authorities for killing him. If the boy was killed by the gorilla, same people will blame the authorities for not saving the child. This is just a loose loose situation. The perception of the people was wrong. I clearly saw the video many many times and the action of the authority was correct. Sad but true.Recommend

  • Omar
    May 31, 2016 - 9:15AM

    The America crowd now seems like Pakistani crowd. Where were the parents. Recommend

  • Asad
    May 31, 2016 - 9:32AM

    The solution is clear–keep animals where they belong!!Recommend

  • Milind
    May 31, 2016 - 12:53PM

    @Asad – Actually its the other way round. We humans have this bad habit of invading space of each other and that of other species as well. If we stay where we belong, everything would be just fine.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    May 31, 2016 - 2:56PM

    @Nasir Shah: Wasn’t a gorilla but an Asian black bear which ripped the kid apart, and bears are notorious for their spontaneous ferocity ! The dumber than dumb think was that the child’s parents let him shake hands with the bear !!?? But I think the Cincinnati authorities did the most appropriate thing in this case.Recommend

  • Common Sense
    May 31, 2016 - 10:00PM

    Obviously,when a kid is in hands of gorilla you have to take action.Recommend

  • Vikram
    Jun 2, 2016 - 12:12AM

    Handlers should have brought his favorite food and lured Gorilla away and used helicopter to scoop the boy. Public made lot of noise and created a bad situation.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2016 - 6:48AM

    Dipak@Vikram: Easy said than done.Recommend

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