Justice for Harambe

Justice for Harambe

May 29, 2016
Petition to
Thayne Maynard Zoo Director Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Hamilton County Child Protection Services,
Petition Closed
This petition had 510,297 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by Sheila hurt


The creator of this petition wishes to extend her thanks and appreciation for the support in the quest to seek justice for Harambe. It is understood that the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office will make a statement on this matter on Monday, June 6. The creator of this petition will respect the decision made by the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office in this matter.
There has been a lot of talk in the press (especially cable news), vilifying the petition, vilifying its creator, Sheila, and making this seem like a race-baited witch-hunt for the mother and that the intent of the petition is to get kids removed from the home. Nothing can be further from the truth. Ms. Hurt condemns the racially-motivated statements made on news channels and in news stories on the internet, especially the statements that involve the legal record of a family member who was not present during the incident. Ms. Hurt feels these journalistic attacks on the family are unnecessary, hurtful, and they do not further the cause of seeking justice for Harambe.
It is understood that there is a petition is created in regards to closing down this one with claims that this is a racially-driven smear campaign that defames the mother involved in the incident. Once again, these allegations are false and upsetting toward Ms. Hurt whose only goal was to ensure that proper legal action was taken in this matter.
It is important to note that Ms. Hurt’s petition has not, and will not mention the name of the family involved. There is a reason this petition has not and will not state the family members' names or any personal information about them: It is wrong and it is up to the proper authorities to have that information and any other information they need to investigate this matter. This information is only of use to Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office, not the public, and certainly not of use to anyone who signs this petition.
The creator of this petition requests that no one harasses, threatens, or otherwise disturbs the family involved in this sad incident. Please understand that any disturbance toward the family may result in legal action being taken against you by the family and any involved parties. Only Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office, Hamilton County Job and Family Services, and Cincinnati Police Department should be in contact with the family.
Three things matter in the case of Justice for Harambe:
*Ensuring that the children of the involved family are safe.
*That the parents have necessary support they need to keep the children safe and that they have access to supportive services that will help them provide a safe environment.
*That proper LEGAL action is taken in this matter and responsible parties are held accountable if the investigation finds that there was negligence involved.

We understand no parent is perfect, kids are curious and can slip away, but we do get concerned when a child was at risk for serious injury and death in one of the safest settings around. It is upsetting that people vilify the Cincinnati Zoo, an institution that has done so much work in trying to turn the tide against extinction in several critically endangered species. If any of you have heard of the Sumatran rhino calf born recently- that was made possible BECAUSE of the research on Sumatran rhino reproduction at Cincinnati Zoo. The sire was born at the Cincinnati Zoo, and research conducted at the zoo ensured that the mother maintained a healthy pregnancy resulting in a healthy female calf.

The zoo has made modifications to its Gorilla World viewing area and as announced in September, 2015, a new Gorilla World viewing area will be ready in Summer 2017.        A sad incident at the Cincinnati Zoo has prompted this petition. On May 28, 2016 an unattended four year-old boy was able to crawl through a series of barriers at the Gorilla World enclosure. The child fell an estimated 10 to 12 feet into the moat surrounding the habitat. The 17 year-old male Western Lowland Gorilla named Harambe then got a hold of the boy. The gorilla was perceived as dragging and throwing the boy. The zoo made the last-resort decision to shoot Harambe because of the increased risk of aggression if a tranquilizer was used in such close proximity to a human. This heartbreaking decision was made in the best interests of keeping the child and the public safe.This beautiful gorilla lost his life because the boy's parents did not keep a closer watch on the child. We the undersigned believe that the child would not have been able to enter the enclosure under proper parental supervision. Witnesses claim that they heard the child state that he wished to go into the enclosure and was actively trying to breach the barriers. This should have prompted the parents to immediately remove the child from the vicinity. It is believed that the situation was caused by parental negligence and the zoo is not responsible for the child's injuries and possible trauma.We the undersigned want the parents to be held accountable for the lack of supervision and negligence that caused Harambe to lose his life. We the undersigned feel the child's safety is paramount in this situation. We believe that this negligence may be reflective of the child's home situation. We the undersigned actively encourage an investigation of the child's home environment in the interests of protecting the child and his siblings from further incidents of parental negligence that may result in serious bodily harm or even death.Please sign this petition to encourage the Cincinnati Zoo, Hamilton County Child Protection Services, and Cincinnati Police Department hold the parents responsible.

Petition Closed

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Decision Makers

  • Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Hamilton County Child Protection Services,Thayne Maynard Zoo Director