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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Painful Memories about a Gorilla Named Harambe

Remember Harambe? That was the western lowland gorilla which was killed the day after his 17th birthday at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on May 28, 2016.  You do remember too that the animal was killed after a three-year-old child fell into its enclosure and was dragged around its moat by Harambe. The zoo fatally shot the 400-pound male gorilla to rescue the boy.

Now fond memories of the gorilla are flooding the internet and many people now believe the animal was shot in undue haste. Some insist it was acting to protect the child and not to harm him. Zoo records indicate that the huge silverback Gorilla, born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas on May 27, 1999, was a relatively recent resident at the Cincinnati Zoo, arriving there in April 2014. He quickly became a favorite of many zoo visitors and photographers.

Currently there is a very popular online declaration in his memory aptly called “Harambe Lives!” Online petitions now suggest renaming the hometown Cincinnati Bengals after him. There is also talk of adding his face to Mount Rushmore or the Lincoln Memorial or even to put him on the dollar bill. The animal has grown the angel wings and halo of a deity in social media memorials. To cap it all, Harambe has even been mock-nominated for president of the United States. That is how popular an animal can get even in death. One major take away from the tragic death of Harambe is that it has started a new conversation around the world. “Most people who saw the video came away with a great degree of empathy for animals forced to live in captivity.”

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