Improve Safety of Zoo Enclosures After Gorilla’s Death

Target: Thane Maynard, Director of Cincinnati Zoo

Goal: Make it harder for people to get into zoo enclosures so that animals like Harambe the gorilla don’t get killed.

Recently a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo was put to death after a 4-year-old boy slipped into the gorilla’s enclosure. The zoo workers only killed the gorilla in order to prevent it from hurting the child, but the child should not have been able to get into the enclosure in the first place. The Cincinnati Zoo needs to take precautions and improve the safety of its enclosures so that people can not get through them so easily.

A witness said that out of the corner of her eye she saw the boy slip into the enclosure, and as she tried to reach for him, the boy fell 10 feet into a shallow moat. Then Harambe, a western lowland gorilla, grabbed the child and dragged him across the enclosure. The zoo workers were not sure if the gorilla intended to harm the child or not, but they did not want to wait and see. They considered using a tranquilizer, but it would have taken several minutes for it to take effect and they did not know if they had that much time to spare. So, in order to protect the child, they shot the gorilla.

The zoo workers did not want to kill the gorilla, especially since it is an endangered animal. But they did not have a choice, since they could not risk the child being killed. Some have blamed the mother for not paying enough attention, but the witness said that judging her was not fair. The mother had three other kids and a baby in her arms, and everything had happened in “the blink of an eye.”

It would seem then that the zoo’s enclosures are not child-proofed enough, and should be given more safety standards. Demand that the Cincinnati Zoo prevent other animals from being killed by strengthening and improving the safety of their enclosures.


Dear Director Maynard,

Unfortunately, Harambe the gorilla was killed because a kid was able to slip through the enclosure. If it had not been so easy for the child to get through the enclosure, Harambe would still be alive.

Please send a team to investigate these enclosures and see what can be done to make sure that no child or adult can get through. The Cincinnati Zoo should learn from this unfortunate event and prevent other animals from being killed.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Pierre Fidenci

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  1. Donna Smelko says:

    The gorilla structure and all structures must be reinforced at all zoo’s. No child (or crazy) should be able to climb into the exhibit. These are wild animals and the male gorilla did not need to die. The mother of this child should also be charged with child endangerment.

  2. C Friedrich says:

    Close all Zoo’s ! Put all animals in a sanctuary . Harambe did not deserve to die, he did nothing wrong and was just being a gorilla – he has paid the ultimate price for a humans stupidity and should never have had to be in this position. He was a protected species . Charge the parent for child endangerment , negligence and with the death of Harambe

  3. I agree!
    Most of the human race does not respect wild animals. Most of the human beings are not smart enough to be close to wild animals safely.
    Animals who need protected need to be in a sanctuary.
    Not in a zoo, where they are put on display and put in danger by stupid humans who believe their lives are more important than other species.

  4. Wild animals belong in the wild. And negligent parents belong locked up in cages.

  5. If my child ends up in a gorilla exhibit and a lowland gorilla is killed because I can not keep my toddler safe and under control. I will be the first to say that I have failed as a parent !!!!!

  6. rose tucciarone says:

    close the zoos animals don!t need to be in behind bars.put them in a reserve.more humane.

  7. Indeed remove all animals from zoo’s, and cage the scum who think it’s great fun to hunt, persecute, and abuse them.That I would definitely pay good money to see.

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