This Zookeeper's Viral Facebook Post About Harambe's Death Is Actually Logical
"The silverback's posturing & tight lips, it's pretty much the stuff of any keeper's nightmares."
BY TESS KOMAN | Jun 2, 2016 | Culture
"I am going to try to clear up a few things that have been weighing on me about Harambe and the Cinci Zoo since I read the news this afternoon," Amanda O'Donoughue's May 30 Facebook post begins. After explaining she worked with gorillas, her favourite animal, as a zookeeper in her 20s, she "[lists] a few facts, thoughts and opinions for those of you that aren't familiar with the species itself, or how a zoo operates in emergency situations.”
Harambe was a 17-year-old gorilla who was killed this past weekend by the Cincinnati Zoo's Dangerous Animal Response Team after a 3-year-old child crawled into the gorilla enclosure and was seized by Harambe. "We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child's life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made," a statement from the zoo explained after Harambe's death and the subsequent viral outrage that came with losing a beautiful and endangered animal, regardless of the reason.
O'Donoughue agrees with the zoo's decision and mentions that after watching the video several times, "it's pretty much the stuff of any keeper's nightmares”:
She also notes "we need to really evaluate the safety of the animal enclosures from the visitor side" to prevent Dangerous Animal Response Team from having to make this kind of incredibly difficult decision ever again. O'Donoughue concludes by mourning the loss of Harambe, calling the situation a "tragedy all around." Since she put the above post up, close to 1 million people have shared it and tens have commented on it thanking her for the thoughtful and experienced explanation.
Jane Goodall has also weighed in on Harambe's death calling it "a devastating loss to the zoo, and to the gorillas." Meanwhile, police are investigating the boy's family to determine if charges need to be made for the boy being able to get into the enclosure, and his mother has defended herself multiple times on Facebook. The boy is at home recovering well from minor injuries.