The issue surrounding the gorilla killed at a Cincinnati Zoo is far from over. An expert on primates has confirmed that Harambe was indeed protecting the child. The animal did not show signs it would kill the 3-year-old child, who slipped past his mother’s watch through the zoo enclosure on Sunday.
Harambe, a Western lowland silverback, is considered an endangered species. The animal was shot by local authorities who responded to the scene.
Debbie Cobb, an expert in primates, in a report from the News Channel 8, said that based on the video taken from the actual scene, the 450-pound gorilla did not show aggression toward the child. Instead, the animal was protecting the child from the screaming crowd, which added to the chaotic situation.
“I can tell you what you saw in the video footage is actually a gorilla taking a stance trying to protect the baby when he heard all the screaming up above. If he wanted to hurt the baby, he would have done that in the first few minutes,” Cobb said.
Cobb, who grew up having a baby gorilla as a playmate, currently runs a primate protection and rescue facility in the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor founded by her grandparents. At the young age of five, she was already exposed to all sorts of primates, including gorillas, which she describes as “protective” animals.
“They’ll put their shoulders up, and you’ll see the hair. They’ll actually make their hair on their head stand up. That means they’re on guard. What’s going on? Something’s wrong,” Cobb said, adding that it was the screaming crowd the animal was protecting the child from.
The kid’s parents have thanked those who rescued their child. An outrage is currently doing the rounds online, blaming the mother’s negligence and failure to watch over her child, which resulted to the killing of the animal.