The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Rare Gorilla Shot Dead After 4-Year-Old Boy Slips Into Animal's Enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo
Officials at the Cincinnati Zoo shot and killed a rare gorilla Saturday after a four-year-old boy slipped into its enclosure.
The zoo said the situation was "life-threatening" so it took action and shot the 400lb gorilla.
"Tranquilizers do not take effect for several minutes, and the child was in imminent danger," Thane Maynard, director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, said in a statement.
"On top of that, the impact from the dart could agitate the animal and cause the situation to get much worse. We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child's life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made."
According to CNN:
Footage shot by a witness shows Harambe, the 17-year-old male gorilla, standing near the boy, who went under a rail, through wires and over a moat wall to get into the enclosure, according to the zoo. The footage later shows Harambe dragging the child through the water as the clamor of the crowd grows louder and increasingly panicked.
Zookeepers then shot the 450-pound western lowland gorilla with a rifle, rather than tranquilizing him.
The boy, who has not been identified, was taken to Children's Hospital and released later Saturday evening.
"We are so thankful to the Lord that our child is safe," the family of the boy said in a statement. "He is home and doing just fine. We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff. We know that this was a very difficult decision for them, and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla. We hope that you will respect our privacy at this time."
The shooting and killing of the gorilla has sparked outrage on the Internet as many are questioning the zookeeper's decision to shoot the animal. According to the zoo, western lowland gorillas are critically endangered in the wild, numbering fewer than 175,000 with an additional 765 gorillas in zoos worldwide.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said gorillas are self-aware. They love, laugh, sing, play and grieve. Western lowland gorillas are gentle animals. They don’t attack unless they’re provoked.
PETA, with this tragedy in mind, is encouraging people to choose cruelty-free entertainment. They suggest people take a hike in the woods and watch wildlife in their natural habitat.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Elliott Negin
On July 19, President Trump hosted Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins and their families, along with the family of their deceased colleague Neil Armstrong, at a White House event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon.
- Cold-climate lizards that give live birth to their offspring are more likely to be driven to extinction than their egg-laying cousins as global temperatures continue to rise, new research suggests.
Tuna auctions are a tourist spectacle in Tokyo. Outside the city's most famous fish market, long queues of visitors hoping for a glimpse of the action begin to form at 5 a.m. The attraction is so popular that last October the Tsukiji fish market, in operation since 1935, moved out from the city center to the district of Toyosu to cope with the crowds.
gmnicholas / E+ / Getty Images
Kristan Porter grew up in a fishing family in the fishing community of Cutler, Maine, where he says all roads lead to one career path: fishing. (Porter's father was the family's lone exception. He suffered from terrible seasickness, and so became a carpenter.) The 49-year-old, who has been working on boats since he was a kid and fishing on his own since 1991, says that the recent warming of Maine's cool coastal waters has yielded unprecedented lobster landings.
The climate crisis is getting costly. Some of the world's largest companies expect to take over one trillion in losses due to climate change. Insurers are increasingly jittery and the world's largest firm has warned that the cost of premiums may soon be unaffordable for most people. Historic flooding has wiped out farmers in the Midwest.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.