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    (May 27, 1999-May 28, 2016)
    Born in Brownsville, Texas
    Western lowland gorilla
    Born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Texas
    Transferred to the Cincinnati Zoo for a breeding program (2014)
    A four-year-old boy fell into the moat surrounding the gorilla exhibit
    Video of the encounter between Harambe and the boy posted on YouTube
    Was shot and killed by zoo officials due to concerns that he might harm the child
    He ignored attempts by zookeepers to coax him away from the child.
    Zoo director Thayne Maynard said, ‘The child was being dragged around ... His head was banging on concrete. This was not a gentle thing. The child was at risk.’
    He was no Binti Jua.
    PeTA inevitably stuck their two cents in. (‘Yet again, captivity has taken an animal’s life.’)
    Some of the groups trying to stoke outrage over Harambe’s killing show only the opening minutes of the video, in which the gorilla seems curious at worst and actively protective at some moments, leaving out the ‘dragging the kid through the moat’ portion.
    After the press identified the kid’s parents, they became the target of internet harassment. (As did at least one woman who had the same name as the mother.)
    He was a member of an endangered species.
    Even people that supported the decision to shoot Harambe conceded that he was not trying to harm the child.
    An animal expert noted, ‘A comparable-aged gorilla baby is much stronger, much more robust, and able to deal with a lot of rough and tumble in comparison to a young human child.’
    Screaming from onlookers may have freaked him out.
    The boy suffered a concussion, but had no life-threatening injuries.
    The mother of the boy made a (since deleted) Facebook post about the incident that expressed no regret over the gorilla’s death.
    Later the boy’s family issued a statement noting, ‘Some [people] have offered money to the family, which we do not want and will not accept. If anyone wishes to make a gift, we recommend a donation to the Cincinnati Zoo in Harambe's name.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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