Harambe Death: When Did the Gorilla Die & Why Was It Killed?

Flowers lay around a bronze statue of a gorilla and her baby outside the Cincinnati Zoo’s Gorilla World exhibit days after a 3-year-old boy fell into the moat and officials were forced to kill Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland silverback gorilla June 2, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo Credit: John Sommers II | Getty Images)

It has been eight years since Harambe‘s tragic death. The western lowland male gorilla was one of Cincinnati Zoo’s most beloved attractions, and Cincinnatians feel his absence to this day.

According to Vox, Harambe died on May 28, 2016. Reports suggest that on the fateful day, a four-year-old boy got into his enclosure after falling from a height of 10 to 12 feet. Soon, the gorilla arrived and stood over the child. Furthermore, he grabbed and began dragging him. People who witnessed this incident have different accounts of the situation. According to the New York Times, Harambe’s actions were extremely ferocious because he was “violently dragging and throwing the child.” However, some believe that the animal was merely protecting him the way he would protect his child. Ten minutes later, zoo officials learned of the ruckus and concluded that the child was in grave danger. They decided that the only way to ensure his safety was to kill Harambe.

Soon, they terminated the gorilla with a single rifle shot. At the time of his death, the animal was 17 years old. Harambe’s death resulted in severe public outrage. People said that his death could have been avoided if zoo officials simply tranquilized him instead of firing a bullet. However, authorities stated that drugging the animal was not an option because that could have made him more vicious and endangered the child’s well-being.

The 2023 documentary Harambe takes a closer look at this tragic incident. Per IMDb, its synopsis reads, “In May 2016, a gorilla named Harambe protected a child when he went into the enclosure. Fearing for the boy’s life, the zookeepers shot Harambe. Now, activists are pushing to bring justice to this case and to see if he was innocent.” Its director is Erik E. Crown.

Where Is the Harambe kid today?

The name of the child who fell into Harambe’s enclosure is Isiah Gregg. Since the incident mentioned above is 8 years old, this would make the child currently 11 or 12.

The public outrage over Harambe’s death took over the world in 2016. According to Cincinnati Zoo officials, tranquilizing him would have been a bad idea because it takes several minutes for the drug to take over a gorilla’s body. There was a possibility that after getting tranquilized, the animal could have gotten enraged and attacked Gregg. Their statement read, “It is important to note that with the child still in the exhibit, tranquilizing the 450-pound gorilla was not an option. Tranquilizers did not take effect for several minutes, and the child was in imminent danger. On top of that, the impact from the dart could agitate the animal and cause the situation to get much worse.”

Experts believe that killing the gorilla was the right decision. Furthermore, a respected and renowned American zookeeper named Jack Hanna said he would have responded the same way. He stated that after getting tranquilized, it takes 5 to 10 minutes for a gorilla to lose consciousness. Suddenly, if he felt something hit him, he would have reacted with agitation. Gregg was already in his hands, which could have led to a catastrophe.

Hanna was glad that the situation didn’t turn uglier and the child didn’t end up losing his life or facing severe injuries. He said, “It takes 5 to 10 minutes for a gorilla to lay down and go to sleep, so what’s that male going to do if all the sudden, ‘pow’ he feels this thing hit him?.” He further stated, “He’s going to go back there, ‘what is this thing?’ pull it out, and he’s got a child in his hand … We’re going to have a disaster. Within one split second. You wouldn’t even want to witness it.”

According to the Daily Mail, Isiah Gregg’s family received death threats after Harambe’s death. In a 2016 interview with his 55-year-old grandmother, Valerie Dickerson, she stated that the gorilla’s termination saddened her, but she was glad that her grandson was safe. Additionally, she said that she saw videos of the ordeal, and it devastated her. Dickerson said, “For me, I still think they could have gone another route though they said they couldn’t. But mainly I just thank God my grandson is okay. (The video) was upsetting. I had to have some family members come round and kind of compose me. It was devastating to watch.”

Isiah Gregg received counseling after his encounter with the animal. Interestingly, this incident made people on social media question the living conditions of gorillas in captivity and zoo ethics. They blamed the child’s mother, Michelle Gregg, for Harambe’s death and, most importantly, asked: “How could any mother let her 4-year-old child fall into an enclosure?” At the time of the incident, Michelle Gregg was 32 years old. Meanwhile, the child’s father, Deonne Dickerson, was 35 years old.

The post Harambe Death: When Did the Gorilla Die & Why Was It Killed? appeared first on ComingSoon.net – Movie Trailers, TV & Streaming News, and More.

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