By now, most everyone knows the story of Harambe the Gorilla; the gorilla who was shot dead because a boy fell into his zoo enclosure. He was seventeen years old and a Western lowland silverback gorilla. A four-year-old boy fell into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo on May 28, 2016. Harambe proceeded to drag the boy around his enclosure but did not harm him at all. Since then, the internet has erupted into a large argument over his death. I believe Harambe’s death was a fatal blow to this country as a whole.
This dispute over Harambe has sparked a plethora of internet memes, or jokes. These memes have made jokes such as, he “would still be alive if he were white” and he “had vital information on Hillary Clinton’s campaign”. Another popular meme lists all the people lost in 2016, ending the list with Harambe. This meme has other variations as well; such as, “things I couldn’t wait to fall into as a kid” in which they would show a picture of harambe’s enclosure along with other things seemingly more obvious. Countless Harambe memes have been created since his passing, and new ones are still being made every day.
Harambe was just an innocent gorilla held prisoner in a poor attempt to recreate his natural habitat. Not only was he deprived of his freedom, he was also judged guilty of something that was completely out of his control. It’s not Harambe’s fault that some four-year-old child who didn’t know any better fell into his “home”. Unfortunately, Harambe’s instincts took over and when he saw the little boy, he saw prey or a threat perhaps; whatever it is he saw that boy as he knew he was not supposed to be in the enclosure.
The mother of the child, however, is also not to blame. Many mothers around the country, and around the globe, lose track of their children at some point in their life. This instance was just an unfortunate happenstance. The young boy, just four years old, didn’t know any better when he crawled in to see the gorilla either. Most of the blame is put on the two victims of the incident when in reality both could be perfectly fine today if precautions had been taken earlier.
The Cincinnati Zoo is to blame. The entire situation could have been prevented if they had built the enclosure to be safer. There should be no possible scenario where someone can gain entry to the enclosure without official access. There was no better way to handle the situation in the heat of the moment, but it would have never happened if Cincinnati Zoo had better safety standards for their animal enclosures.