Primate Expert Jane Goodall Speaks Out About Harambe The Gorilla's Death
In response to the uproar that ensued when employees at the Cincinnati Zoo decided to shoot and kill resident gorilla Harambe to save the life of a 4-year-old boy who climbed the barrier surrounding the gorilla enclosure and fell in, world-renowned primate expert Jane Goodall shared her thoughts on the incident with the zoo's director.
The Jane Goodall Institute recently released an email sent from Goodall herself to Thane Maynard, the director of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Cosmopolitan reports.
The British primatologist wrote,
Dear Thane, I feel so sorry for you, having to try to defend something which you may well disapprove of. I tried to see exactly what was happening — it looked as though the gorilla was putting an arm [around] the child — like the female who rescued and returned the child from the Chicago exhibit. Anyway, whatever, it is a devastating loss to the zoo, and to the gorillas. How did the others react? Are they allowed to see, and express grief, which seems to be so important? Feeling for you, Jane
The Chicago “female” Goodall referenced in the email was reportedly Binti Jua, a gorilla famous for picking up a young boy who, like the one in Cincinnati, fell into the gorilla exhibit. Binti Jua gently carried the boy to zookeepers waiting at the door of her enclosure.
The Gregg family, whose 4-year-old's plunge this past weekend led to Harambe's execution, released a statement urging those mourning the 17-year-old gorilla's death to donate to the zoo in his name.
#NEW family statement after #gorilla killed at Cinti #Zoo. Family recommends donations to zoo for #Harambe. #wlwt pic.twitter.com/Nix4ihw5j8 — Dan Griffin WLWT (@DanGriffinWLWT) June 1, 2016
The boy escaped the enclosure without any serious injuries.