There’s been absolute outrage over who to blame for the tragic death of Harambe, the 17-year-old 450-pound gorilla at Cincinnatti Zoo. The 4-year-old boy climbed into Harambe’s enclosure on Saturday afternoon and fell into the moat. Though Harambe did not attack the young boy, he was considered to be a dangerous animal that resulted him being shot down by the zoo officials.
There is an online petition called “Justice for Harambe” that blames the boy’s parents for their negligence:
“This beautiful gorilla lost his life because the boy’s parents did not keep a closer watch on the child. We the undersigned believe that the child would not have been able to enter the enclosure under proper parental supervision… It is believed that the situation was caused by parental negligence and the zoo is not responsible for the child’s injuries and possible trauma.We the undersigned want the parents to be held accountable for the lack of supervision and negligence that caused Harambe to lose his life. We the undersigned feel the child’s safety is paramount in this situation. We believe that this negligence may be reflective of the child’s home situation. We the undersigned actively encourage an investigation of the child’s home environment in the interests of protecting the child and his siblings from further incidents of parental negligence that may result in serious bodily harm or even death.”
The petition has 387,772 supporters so far.
Michelle Gregg, the boy’s mother has written an open letter on her Facebook page responding to the backlash. The post has since been deleted however it remains in the cybersphere in snapshots. It reads:
“I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers today. What started off as a wonderful day turned into a scary one. For those of you that have seen the news or been on social media that was my son that fell in the gorilla exhibit at the zoo. God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him. My son is safe and was able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes…no broken bones or internal injuries.
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 Accidents happen but I am thankful that the right people were in the right place today. Thank you to everyone that helped me and my son today and most importantly God for being the awsome God that He is.”