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Gorilla Killed Because of Toddler


Cincinnati, USA – A 17-year-old gorilla was shot dead in Cincinnati Zoo after a young boy fell into its enclosure.

The gorilla named Harambe was seen and filmed rushing towards the three-year-old boy. It grabbed the boy and dragged it towards the middle of its enclosure. Many visitors at the gorilla’s enclosure were shocked. Some screamed for fear the animal would harm the boy.

The boy’s mother was heard shouting, “I’m right here! Please protect him! God, please protect him!”

The boy had crawled through a railing that separated the visitors from the gorilla enclosure. A moat acted as an extra barrier. Once the boy went through the railings, he fell three metres into the moat.

The 180-kilogramme male gorilla was seen jumping into the moat. It moved towards the boy. When Harambe reached the boy, it was seen pulling the boy around in the moat. Gorillas are very strong animals and in Harambe’s hands, the little boy was no more than a rag doll.

At one point, the gorilla sat next to the boy. At other times, the animal was seen standing over the child as if it was protecting him or unsure what to do with him. A two-minute video shared on the Internet even showed Harambe holding the little boy’s hand.

Then, it dragged the boy further into the enclosure. Maybe it was frightened by people’s shouts and screams.

The zookeepers were concerned that the animal would hurt the child or even kill him. So they decided to shoot Harambe. This was a very difficult decision because the zookeepers had cared for the gorilla since it was a baby. Harambe had just turned 17 years old.

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enclosure (n) an area that is surrounded by a fence or wall used to keep animals inside.
railing (n) – a fence made of vertical or horizontal bars.
moat (n) – a ditch or drainage dug around a building to protect it.
barrier (n) – wall; fence; an object used to block others from coming in.

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