JUSTICE FOR HARAMBE
This petition had 6,718 supporters
On Saturday, May 28, 2016, a 17 year old Western lowland silverback gorilla (a species who are now considered critically endangered) named Harambe was unjustly murdered in his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. A 4 year old boy was observing the gorilla habitat with his Mother who was also tending to numerous other children. Witnesses say that the boy repeatedly warned that he was going to "jump in" to the gorilla habitat below him before he actually did it. For a number of minutes, Harambe's actions varied but he did not hurt the boy nor did that appear as his intention. Some reports say that at times Harambe even seemed to be protecting the boy. Even the zoo director, Thayne Maynard, has stated that the gorilla DID NOT seem to be attacking the boy. However, Harambe was still shot and killed with a rifle rather than sedated in order to retrieve the child who had planned and cleverly maneuvered his way into Harambe's secure enclosure. The child was taken to a local children's hospital with no life threatening injuries.
This tragic incident is one that could have been avoided on many levels. It is clear that the mother of the boy did not properly react to her child's warnings of jumping into the gorilla habitat. Furthermore, it is apparent that the staff of the Cincinnati zoo did not thoroughly think their actions through. Nor did they exhaust all other options before reacting in a panic so aggressively to a living creature who seemed to be doing no serious harm.
This petition is to push for a number of things:
1. For the Cincinnati Zoo to reevaluate its staff and employ people who thoughtfully and responsibly are able to avert crises like these in the best interest of all parties--animals included.
2. For the Cincinnati Zoo to enforce a new rule in which every 2 children must be accompanied by at least 1 adult; In order to ensure proper attention being focused on every child visiting at any moment.
3. For the Cincinnati Zoo to reevaluate and reinforce all enclosures to make them more secure so that visitors, small children especially, cannot find ways into the habitats.
3. For the mother of the boy who jumped into the gorilla habitat, be fined and charged with child neglect, child endangerment, and aiding in animal cruelty. Also, to be evaluated by Child Protective Services.
4. For the person responsible for Harambe being murdered to be charged with animal cruelty and punished under the Endangered Species Act.
Harambe was born and raised at Gladys Porter Zoo in South Texas and shot dead just one day after his 17th birthday. No living creature should be brutally killed for simply being strong so long as they are posing no serious threat. In this situation, poor Harambe was the victim.
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