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The sad case continues of the silverback gorilla named Harambe who was shot and killed by zoo staff after the boy fell into its enclosure.

The family of a three-year-old boy who fell into an animal enclosure, prompting the killing of an endangered gorilla, said it would not sue the Cincinnati zoo over the incident, reports ABC News.

Witnesses  said the boy expressed a desire to get into the enclosure and climbed over a 1-metre barrier, then fell 4.6 metres into a moat.

Many have argued the animal was trying to protect the little boy and not hurt him.

Online petitions at change.org have more than 676,000 signatures demanding “Justice for Harambe”.

The child’s family are now receiving death threats.

The mother posted on Facebook to defend her actions on the day saying, “as a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids”.

The post was later removed after comments in reply included death threats.

The family announced through a spokeswoman the boy was doing well after earlier saying on social media that he had a concussion and scrapes.

In a written statement they asked well-wishers not to send them financial gifts, but to make any donations to the zoo.

Comedian Adam Hills has even jumped to the parents defence, reminding people how “quick and elusive” children are.

And experienced Zoo keeper and handler of Gorilla’s Amanda O’Donoghue has stated…

“I keep hearing that the Gorilla was trying to protect the boy. I do not find this to be true. Harambe reaches for the boys hands and arms, but only to position the child better for his own displaying purposes.

Males do very elaborate displays when highly agitated, slamming and dragging things about. Typically they would drag large branches, barrels and heavy weighted balls around to make as much noise as possible. Not in an effort to hurt anyone or anything (usually) but just to intimidate. It was clear to me that he was reacting to the screams coming from the gathering crowd. ”

Share your comments below.

Main image courtesy of Twitter

  • Sorry will take this with a grain of salt.
    I use Vicks no my kids chest and my chest…was used on me as a child and never hurt me….vicks helps them to rest which is what we need to help them get better REST.
    As for the vaporiser I use that for asthma boy not all night but just when they need it help a lot.
    I say Dom what helps your child….they are your child and a mother instinct will always prevail

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  • The family didn’t decide what action the zoo took, the experts that looked after the animals did because they assessed the situation. Horrible accident with a tragic end for the gorilla. Poor family has been thrown into the media spotlight and judged very harshly.

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  • I still think the zoo made the right call. And death threats are never appropriate.

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  • Making death threats is stupid, out of control and illegal.
    If you are angry and feel that all that happened was so wrong then how does saying you would kill the parents off this little boy make the situation any better??? People need to grow up.

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  • Death threats is unacceptable and cowardly too.

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  • I feel very sad that this gorilla lost his life. I’m glad the little boy is okay considering his fall, and I don’t think his family should be harassed – I’m sure they didn’t ask for all this to happen. I guess I would question why the barrier to the enclosure was not child-proof similar to pool fences.

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  • Nobody deserves a death threat!
    I’m still having conflicting emotions about this story. Maybe it was really the only action the zoo could take to save the boy. But that the gorilla lost his life… well… I find that so incredibly sad.

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  • It’s still hearbreaking! A tranquiliser dart or two would have been better. Hold your childs hand who wanted to and did climb a fence. Human stupidity again causing the death of a marvellous creature.

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  • Wow this family do not deserve death threats! A Sad, unfortunate story for all.

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  • The family of the child do not deserve death threats.

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  • I think this was a big accident. I keep saying that society is quick to judge before knowing the full story. I am on the fence, I don’t know how the mother stayed at that enclosure knowing the boy stated he wanted to go in the enclosure with harambe, however I do know kids are fast and just take off on us. Then the panic starts trying to find them. It’s not entirely the mothers fault. As for poor harambe if the little boy hadn’t gone in his enclosure he would still be alive today :(
    No one knew exactly what would have happened if the whole situation was different, all we know is this is a massive lesson to learn from and one of our worlds endangered beautiful creatures paid the ultimate price. I’m just glad the boy got out safely…the family d not deserve to be getting death threats, it’s already a traumatic experience they have been through. Give it a break and move on. Nothing can change what has happened

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  • How ridiculous, they do not deserve death threats

    Reply

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