When a small child managed to get into the gorilla enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo on Saturday, zoo officials were faced with their nightmare scenario. But he says the goal of the vigil isn't to point fingers but to pay tribute to Harambe. "God protected my child". She said her son was recovering from a concussion and a few scrapes. "The child is safe".
Maynard previously said the gorilla did not appear to be attacking the child, but he said the animal was "extremely strong" and in an agitated situation.
"Even under the "best" circumstances, captivity is never acceptable for gorillas or other primates, and in cases like this, it's even deadly", PETA said in a statement.
"We have a response team prepared for the possibility that a human and an unsafe animal would share the same space".
Mr. Maynard said the decision to kill the gorilla was the right one.
"Gorillas are not polar bears", Maynard said. The gorilla cradled the child and then handed him to paramedics. "It can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes".
Animal lovers turned their anger toward the parents while mourning the death of the gorilla, lighting candles and holding "Rest in Peace" signs at the vigil.
"People can shout at the parents and people can shout at the zoo", he said. "The fact is that a gorilla that just celebrated his birthday has been killed".
In the days since, people have taken to social media to voice their outrage about the killing of a member of an endangered species. An online petition seeking "Justice for Harambe" earned more than 100,000 signatures in less than 48 hours. Video from witnesses shows the gorilla, Harambe, dragging the child through the water. He was treated at the hospital and later released. The boy hasn't been identified, however, his family says he is doing fine at home.
Many social media commenters have criticized the boy's parents and said they should be held accountable. Cincinnati Police said no charges were being considered.
Stones has been in the zoo business for about 50 years and has worked with Harambe's family since they first entered the USA, starting with the grandparents. "People who question that...don't understand that you can't take a risk with a silverback gorilla".
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the incident highlighted why the organization is opposed to zoo captivity and blamed the zoo for the animal's death.
Animal expert and TV host, Jeff Corwin, stood behind the zoo's decision, for the same reasons pointed out by zoo officials. And plans to double the size of Gorilla World are still underway.
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