Ohio: The killing of a male gorilla in the United States on Saturday in case of his potential threat to a boy has triggered controversies.
The 17-year-old gorilla was shot dead by the Cincinnati zoo in the northeastern America of Ohio, after picking up and grabbing a boy who had accidentally crawled through the barrier and fell into the moat surrounding the gorilla’s territory. After 10 minutes of the unnamed 4-year-old boy’s exposure to the 181kg adult gorilla called Harambe, the zoo’s danger response team deemed the situation life-threatening and chose to “put down, or shoot Harambe”, according to the zoo’s director Thane Maynard.
The death of Haramba, a Western lowland gorilla listed as an endangered animal species, has caused controversies. A petition on the website change.org signed by over 2,000 people criticized the zoo’s deadly action and blamed the child’s parents for their negligent supervision.
An animal rights group said the zoo should have had an extra barrier around the gorilla’s exhibition area. A statement from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an American animal rights organization, questioned “the captivity is never acceptable for gorillas.” The zoo’s director, however, defended the move of the danger response team, saying they made “tough” but “right” choice, and “it could have been very bad.”