I would like to apologise to you, on behalf of a species to which I belong, for your untimely and unnecessary death. I did not know you, I do not know much of your species myself but what I do know and understand is that you had a soul. You had feelings and emotions, you had instinct and once upon a time you may even have had freedom if it weren’t for us.
You have become very popular today, I would say you’ve gone posthumously viral. Unfortunately this popularity is due to your forced departure from this very sad world. We have all watched videos and seen how a young child, left unattended by irresponsible parents, fell into your enclosure in the zoo where you were kept. We watched you take the child, hold him a little tighter than he is used to, stand by him and even look into his little face at times and I wonder what you were thinking. I wonder what was going through that majestic mind of yours in your final moments, as the human race gathered around you from above staring and shouting, petrified of the anticipated atrocities you were never given the chance to commit.
I’ve watched many a documentary on animals and gorillas and while I am no expert, I would imagine your kind to be a little less fragile than my own. For that reason, perhaps your young are not treated with the same kid gloves as ours and so when you stood above the young boy in your enclosure, you were only doing so protectively no matter how rough. I believe in instinct and in my heart and soul, I know your first instinct would be to protect this strange miniature version of a creature that has fed you behind bars your whole life. Sadly, you didn’t get the opportunity to prove me right and for that I am so very sorry.
Blame is being passed. We look for someone to blame, it is in the nature of the human species. The parents are under fire (rightly so) for allowing their young child to be unsupervised for long enough that he was able to defy them and get into the water. Yes, their actions led to a child for a short time being under the care of a 400lb gorilla who, if you felt the need, could have snapped his neck seconds into being by your side. You didn’t. The parents are not the only ones to blame because in my opinion, you shouldn’t be in that enclosure in the first place. My people have failed you, your kind and the animal kingdom. We have taken so much from you, we continue to take and take and when we don’t agree with something you may or may not do, we take your life as well.
We will never know what your intentions were, Harambe. Many have said that this could have ended more tragically than it did and thankfully the boy lives but the way I see it, it already had the most tragic of endings. And so, the human race teaches their offspring that we are far superior to any other being and have the right to decide when you live or when you die. For that, again I can only apologise. We are wrong, so very very wrong.
We have proven how we underestimate even the most intelligent of non human beings. Your intelligence and your instinct came into question in those ten minutes. For ten whole minutes they watched you NOT kill a young boy and still they decided that a bullet would be far safer for you (and the child) than a mere tranquillisation. Alas, no matter what we say now this was a no win situation. Had you done what the world expected you to do and killed the boy before the response team had time to act, you would’ve been killed anyway and the zoo blamed for the death of a child as well. The truth of the matter is that in your natural environment, you may never have even seen a human being. I wish that was the life you led. I wish you had understood what it meant to be free, no matter how well you had been taken care of. You can feed a man gourmet food in a prison cell, it does not detract from the fact that he is imprisoned.
While I am sad for you and along with many others, mourn your death, I am grateful that you are in a better place. I believe you are now free, I believe you roam and roar and beat your chest while others of your kind look on in awe. You are an alpha male, a beautiful, majestic creature of the earth whose spirit lives on in the energy around us.
You are a loss to this world but Harambe, this world is not a loss to you.
I can only hope that your death is not in vain. Zoo’s will continue to operate and while it’s not my favourite place for animals to be, they’re not going anywhere. As long as people want to see the beauty of your kind, there is demand. As long as there is demand, the zoos remain.
- I hope that the zoo’s worldwide learn from this tragedy and do their utmost to keep my species as far from yours as possible, for your safety and not ours.
- I hope that parents learn not to leave their children unattended for the slightest moment so that this is not repeated with a similar outcome.
- I hope that this has instilled an appreciation for the beauty of Gorilla’s everywhere and prompts us to learn more of your kind so that we do not act prematurely in the future.
- I hope that our children see your death as a loss and not as a consequence.
- I hope that we learn to value the lives of animal kind as much as we value those of our own species.
I hope, Harambe, that you are at peace now and you have found your utopia. I promise you that I will not forget you because without knowing you, you have caused me to question all that is wrong with the world. All that makes me ashamed to be a human being. My apology is not enough but it is all I have, I truly am sorry.
Run free big guy xx