By:Lauren Reinhard

I’m sure everyone has heard about Harambe. Not only has the death of the silver back gorilla affected Ohio people but it is also known nation wide. There have been so many debates as whether or not killing this gorilla was necessary and the right thing to do. Many animal activists were very upset to hear that they had killed an animal that is endangered because a kid crawled into the cage. I worked at the Columbus Zoo over the summer so it was the talk of the whole zoo. So many people were very angry and said that it was the childs fault. But in the end they had to protect a human life over an animals. A common question is why? Why is the animals life any less important than the humans?

Those questions have rattled many people and can not seem to be answered. Either way the death of this one animals started a social media fiasco. This includes many memes and quotes that people will chant. They also have created many websites such as a petition on change.org to hopefully help with animal conservation. The impact that this one animal has had on people is insane. There have been many instances at the columbus Zoo where people will climb into a cage and they have to put the animal to sleep to ensure the humans safety. The bottom line is these animals are put in these tiny cages and sometimes alone when they are meant to be in the wild and free. If a human would climb into their cage they are probably so bored that they would want to play with anything. I think the problem is not so much that he was shot but zoos in general. It does have some benefits to children, such as learning what animals are what and also if an animals is going endangered in the wild but other than that it is just sad to enclose a wild animal into a 16 by 16 cage. I think if anything needs to change it shouldn’t be more safety around the cages but less animals in zoos that are meant to be wild. Its sad that an innocent animal had to lose its life just to show a lesson but if it wouldn’t have people would not have brought attention to it.

Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo




6 thoughts on “Harambe

  1. What’s upsetting is that many animals have their only chance of survival as a species in captivity. African elephants hold a lot of value because of the ivory in their tusks, as we all know. But laws against poaching these animals only go so far. Because the population is located in the poorest of poor countries people are willing to risk jail time for killing an elephant if that means their family will have money and food for the year. It’s an interesting dichotomy of keeping these animals in captivity versus having them in their natural habitat where they are under attack from poachers and rapid deforestation due to rapid growth in industry. Unfortunately besides keeping these animals in zoo’s theres not much us as Americans can do to keep them from going extinct besides providing education and jobs to those countries that are living in the third world so that there isn’t a need to attack the ecosystem that these animals we love live in. Good article, focused a little bit too much on the meme but good job!

    Grant Moss


  2. This situation is very saddening to many. Harambe was a beautiful animal and he was shot and killed due to someone else’s recklessness. You have to understand why he was killed though. Imagine if he wasn’t shot and the baby was killed. There would’ve been a different backlash at the zoo and people would’ve lost their jobs and had a human death in the back of their minds. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but they did the right thing. If they could’ve used a tranquilizer, that’d have been better though.

    Jensen Harris


  3. Honestly the debate of captivity versus animals in the wild is a huge debate amongst conservationists. Of course, captivity is not ideal, but we are destroying these animals (especially gorillas, watch Virguna) at a disturbing, disgusting rate. We have to learn how to save these animals. And of course not all zoos are ideal but these animals have teams of people taking care of them making sure they are healthy. But I also believe a lot of these animals need more space then they already have. And educating children on the importance of wildlife is vital to the future of our planet.

    Victoria Obermeyer


  4. this was an extremely sad story and it is sad that it had to go down the way that it did. If anything people learn that these animals need to be respected and admired. This just shows that children still don’t really understand what these animals are going through being in such small cages

    -Tom Walters


  5. To me it is crazy to think that everyone in the world is referencing Harambe. But learning about the things we have been in class has opened my eyes. People make jokes about him and it really is upsetting, especially if you are an animal lover. Your post was a good read and very popular in todays society.


  6. Still so confused about how this event transformed into this national joke. I really do not understand where the humor came out of this event.
    -claire greve


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