Harambe, a national hero


He was much more than a monkey … or ape.

 Zoo life isn’t always easy.  Animals put on a show for the public day in, day out to bring joy to the paying visitors.

On a warm May afternoon last spring, one gorilla changed zoo life forever.

His name was Harambe, and he was more than just a gorilla.   He was simply spending his day as usual, wandering around his exhibit, eating bananas, and doing things your typical ape would do. Then came a splash of water heard around the world.

A small three-year old child was uncared for as he climbed through the fence to Harambe’s moat, falling several feet to the bottom, face to face with the great gorilla.


The first question to ask here is who lets their child climb into an animal’s exhibit in a city zoo?

“Apparently” the mother only turned her back for a few seconds, but how fast can a three-year old operate? You had one job, mom. Just one, which cost the innocent life the caring Harambe.

The boy was inside the enclosure for roughly ten minutes, during which time he was never really physically harmed.  Harambe used his ape-like instinct to protect the child, not to harm.  We have all seen the video as it seemed the boy was being relentlessly pulled around the moat by his limbs.

But what else does it look like when a 450-pound gorilla pulls around a three-year-old child? It is basically like comparing a rock to a feather.

This is where the actions of the Cincinnati Zoo split the country, killing the American icon. The staff was forced to shoot Harambe.

Many people felt torn by shooting the gorilla instead of just tranquillizing him.  The slaughter of this American icon has devastated the lives of many people.

Teary-eyed senior Jarrett Taneyhill feels that Harambe was so much more than just a gorilla.

“Every time someone went to the Cincinnati Zoo and they saw the precious Harambe sitting in his exhibit, it changed their life forever. I believe that anytime a gorilla can inspire humans it’s no longer just a gorilla, it is a hero,” said Taneyhill.

RIP Harambe/YouTube

Sawyer Kline was devastated by the death of his hero Harambe, and his feelings towards the Cincinnati Zoo are as real as it gets.

“It’s absolutely disgusting. If you are going to punish the animals you ‘love’ by killing them for something they have no control over, then you don’t deserve the right to be a zoo,” explained Kline.

Every student asked about this topic gave a very similar answer.  Many key words such as unfair, ridiculous, oppressed, and mistreated seemed to commonly repeat themselves, showing how many lives the death of Harambe impacted in his seventeen years of life.

I guess if you don’t know or feel for Harambe, what rock are you living under? It feels wrong, hurtful, and most importantly cruel to go on every day ignoring the injustice done to our great Harambe.

How many gorillas will be put through this harm next? It will be a battle, but the world will eventually see that apes are more than big beastly animasl, just like Harambe was more than just a gorilla.

R.I.P. Harambe.