Demand Apology From Zoo for Endangered Gorilla’s Death

Target: Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo President

Goal: Make reparations for death of critically endangered gorilla by implementing protections to prevent additional tragedies.

A critically endangered Western lowland gorilla, Harambe, was shot and killed by zookeepers at the Cincinnati Zoo following an incident in which an unattended child fell into the animal’s habitat. Zoo president Thane Maynard admitted that the child “was not under attack,” but that the gorilla was killed because the child was “at risk.” Many have demanded to know why the animal was not shot with a tranquilizer, a response that could have removed the child from potential danger while preserving the life of the gorilla. Zoo officials have failed to offer an acceptable explanation.

Western lowland gorillas are broadly categorized as critically endangered, with an estimated 125,000 living in the world today. That the survival and well-being of every gorilla is of crucial importance to the future of the species as a whole makes the killing of Harambe even more incomprehensible. Worse, the senseless death of this particular animal will almost certainly engender negative impacts on the other gorillas in his family structure.

The Cincinnati Zoo acted rashly in its killing of Harambe, and action must be taken to ensure that additional tragedies do not occur. Though no action on the part of the zoo could ever make up for this animal’s lost life, future steps for the zoo should include an apology, reparations in the form of a sizeable contribution to a dedicated gorilla conservation group, and the institution of safety measures to prevent future accidents of this type. Demand that the Cincinnati Zoo hold themselves accountable for this irreversible, tragic error.


Dear Zoo President Thane Maynard,

We are shocked and appalled at the death of Harambe, the critically endangered Western lowland gorilla that lived for years at the Cincinnati Zoo. Though we understand that responders were concerned for the child’s safety, it is outrageous that persons with such responsibilities as this job requires were not properly equipped to respond without resorting to deadly force. Had the animal been shot with a tranquilizer dart, the child would have been removed from danger and the animal would still be living.

We, the undersigned, understand that every gorilla’s life is sacred and crucial to the survival of the species as a whole, and we know that Harambe’s death will likely negatively impact his family group. We ask that you hold yourselves accountable for Harambe’s death by committing to a public apology and sizeable donation to a committed gorilla conservation group. We hope that you will also implement an extensive safety plan to prevent future accidents of the kind that resulted in this senseless killing.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Brocken Inaglory

Sign the Petition

  • Upgrade to sign 100's of petitions with one-click and feed shelter animals.
  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare


  1. The mother of the stupid child should be prosecuted for neglect and the zoo prosecuted for not protecting the gorillas from ignorant irresponsible humans. They had no need to shoot the gorilla they could have darted it instead. Americans – trigger happy morons A disgrace. Serve the bloody child right, i hope it was injured. A gorilla is dead because of it. Gorillas are endangered. Too many brats in the world.

    • justice for animals says:

      Shirley I couldn’t say it better. T o many brats and most of them become just worms and psychopaths, or living their lives in selfishness, thinking only about themselves&family some and others are just malignant, bad, evil. With this kind of stupid mother who says >>mammy loves you<<< everybody can listen, but nothing about stay quiet, don't worry, is just a nice gorilla defending you which he really was. And she should have said do not kill him immediately. I put myself on her place we all can fail and children escape, but she should have said total different things, which shows how much irresponsible she must be, for that comment. It seems she needed to show the world how lovely mother she was, no matter what. God knows what she might had been doing to let her boy manage to that, or maybe not, but the fact is what she said says about her.

  2. I dont want an apology, I want this zoo SHUT DOWN and all wild and big animals safely sent to sanctuaries. If it happens again, what will happen then? Wouldnt they again make the same decision to kill the gorilla??? Oh, yes, they certainly would, as gorillas dont file complaints or sue, but parents do even if they cant look after their child in public spaces.

  3. Debra Diana says:

    This is all the parents fault. They were obviously not watching their child. The parents should be arrested for child endangerment. And pay a hefty fine for their stupidity. Also the zoo should have used another method…..not kill this beautiful creature. So the creature died because these idiot parents did not have control of the child. Very sad!

  4. Dianna Brown says:

    They have explained MANY TIMES that a tranquilizer was a danger… they don’t work fast enough and if it irritated the gorilla, he could have killed the child. This is the PARENTS’ fault… nobody ever blames the people who are actually the problem. The zoo can’t be held responsible for every UNATTENDED child who climbs through and over several barriers and jumps into the pit. There was no other method that did not put the child’s life at risk. Once the kid was IN the pit, the gorilla’s fate was sealed. The PARENTS should be charged with both child endangerment and animal cruelty…. not the zoo.

    • The zoo IS responsible for ensuring that people defiant little spawns cannot enter the animals enclosures. Use some common sense: You’re building a zoo, and who visits zoos? Parents with their kids. And what do kids do? Run rampant and want to “pet the animals”. So what should you do? Build a zoo to keep kids away from the animals. This is 101 logic. The zoo is as much to blame as the negligent parents.

      • Beverley James says:

        well at the end of the day, let us face it, it was not actually the Gorillas fault, but he was the one that ended up dead, I think we should have a think about this…

  5. nancy zebracki says:

    definitely the parents fault
    after the kid fell in you could hear the mother saying ‘i’m right here, I love you’
    evidently not that much

  6. CLOSE DOWN THIS ZOO !!!! I am disgusted and horrified by the horrendous decision that the zoo staff made. There is no reason why this precious endangered animal should have been KILLED !!! It’s bad enough that animals are captured from the wild and put into zoos … in the first place. Then we have to hope and pray that caretakers and visitors alike will observe the rules and respect the animals. Neither did such the other day, and as a result, an innocent animal is dead. I blame the zoo and the parents for this innocent animal’s MURDER !!!!! This zoo should be boycotted at the very least, although I’d prefer to see it completely shut down !!!!!!!!!

  7. Cincinnati Zoo is now off our list of places to bring our grandkids during summer vacations. It’s just too dangerous – staff running around with live rifles are unsafe. Any child at that zoo could be “at risk”, to use the phrase that the zoo’s director used, from a maniac keeper who decided that the child was in his habitat.

  8. pamela bolton says:

    It is not the zoos fault that this happened. If the mother had been paying attention to her kid, he would have never gotten into this enclosure. Granted, the zoo should have used other options rather than KILLING THE GORILLA. It is always the animals that pay the price for HUMAN IGNORANCE AND INDIFFERENCE. Charge the mother for neglect and endangerment and make Her pay for the loss of this endangered gorilla’s life.

    • The zoo IS as much to blame as the parents. It is their job to ensure that animals cannot get out and people cannot get in. The zoo director is an idiot; he claims the animals cannot get out yet a four year old… yes, a FOUR YEAR OLD CHILD… was able to get in??? Tell us again how the zoo is not negligent.

  9. NO QUESTION ABOUT THIS HORRID ACTION!! THE PARENTS ARE 100 % responsible. IF the kid had been attended to properly, none of this would be in our faces today!!!

  10. Jacqui Skill says:

    The killing of Harambe was cold-blooded, unprovoked and senseless murder and the fingers of those who pulled the trigger belong to a special kind of stupid.
    The zoo feebly tried to defend the shooting in a release where they stated: “The gorilla was violently dragging and throwing the child.”This was not what eye witnesses saw and the proof that this statement is a lie is the very fact that the child was released from the hospital shortly after, unharmed, and if a 400 pound gorilla was actually being violent there is no way that child would have remained unharmed.
    Harambe died because we enslave gorillas and other animals for our entertainment.
    Predictably the zoos trotted out their go-to apologist Jack Hanna to proclaim that the zoo did the right thing, that it was a choice between a gorilla and a human being.
    No it was not. The kid was not going to be killed by this gorilla. In fact there is no case of a gorilla in captivity ever killing a child and these gorillas are actually approachable in the wild.
    But Jack Hanna gets paid to spew such nonsense because if he actually knew anything about gorillas he would have understood what Harambe was trying to do.

  11. Nick Percival says:

    I love animals and hated to see the magnificent Silverback killed. However, sometimes circumstances present us with impossible situations. I don’t really blame anybody. It’s easy to 2nd guess. It was a most unfortunate situation. Apparently, the four year old boy had an obsessive desire to meet the gorilla. The mother, reasonably, thought the barricade was secure. It’s hard to control a four year old boy – it’s unreasonable to expect him to be in constraints all the time except, of course, if one’s crossing the street or such. Since a 400 pound gorilla could kill the child in a fraction of a second, it’s only in hindsight that one can criticize the shooting of the gorilla – in fact, if the gorilla had been shot with a tranquilizer gun that might well have served as the catalyst for the gorilla reflexively killing the child. If I were in charge, I would NOT have preemptively killed the gorilla and would most likely be facing outrage over the child’s death due to my not preemptively killing the gorilla.

    • How does it makes sense that a four year old can be constrained when crossing the street but not when visiting a facility filled with wild animals that can easily kill them? That is flawed logic. Don’t justify parental negligence and stupidity. If you can’t be a perfect parent and keep your kids under control in public, stay home.

  12. The parent watching the child should be shot, is the parent charged with neglect? CLOSE THE EXHIBIT.

  13. Close down the zoo and send all animals to good sanctuaries!!! Zoo’s are awful!!!

    • Maria Mahyorova says:

      Yes. A zoo is a piece of the times people had no other opportunity to see, say, an elephant. It’s from 19th century and earlier. Who needs these prisons now? Open youtube and enjoy any animal in their natural habitat.

  14. The zoo’s statement that 4-yr-olds can get over ANY barrier is pathetic and an excuse! The zoo doesnt protect the animals but is just a theme park for profit. Why cant the zoo have other ways to deal with INTRUSIONS BY PEOPLE into animal enclosures e.g. tranquilizers, tasers, water cannon, extraction by staff in protective gear..

    Why is it the animal always gets killed? even if it is not an endangered species, it is truly a loss, and in this case a travesty of “conservation”.

    I stopped going to zoos years ago . I will get my entertainment from willing, voluntary/ paid, human entertainers.

  15. To the boy : If you grow up (and this is a big IF, as you are wilful and your parents neglectful) you must work in animal conservation in order to make up for your part in causing Harambe to be killed.

  16. Maria Mahyorova says:

    Whoever is responsible – the parents or the zoo owners – it’s not the gorilla. It’s NOT gorilla’s fault. He did nothing. Enough killing those who did NOTHING!

  17. Frank Downit says:

    Come on people this happen a couple months ago. I do agree that the parent is to blame and partialy the zoo. But there wasn’t realy anther way. Tranquilizers take a while to work and he was a male gorilla, it would have taken moltiple shots the down it and would have irratated the goriila to much to the point were it would harm the kid and then go on a rage. Not signing this petition, but in a way its got some vatible reasons, but I think that it also is stupid and we should get over it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Facebook Comments


4152 Signatures

  • Elizabeth Kirby
  • Kathy Harris
  • Clarence Cote
  • Nicolette Stan
  • sandra rus ortiz
  • Mr. & Mrs. Terry Cadwallader
  • Terri Copps
  • Melody Montminy
1 of 415123...415
Skip to toolbar