UPDATE: The World's Most Famous Primate Expert Weighs In on Harambe's Death
The 17-year-old gorilla was killed after a 4-year-old fell into his enclosure.
After the outrage expressed by so many last week for the murder of Harambe the Gorilla, the world's most famous primate expert is speaking out about the issue, expressing empathy to zoo officials for the tough decision, but saying Harambe may not have had violent intentions. The Jane Goodall Institute released an email Goodall sent to Thane Maynard, the director of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Here's the full text:
"Dear Thane, I feel so sorry for you, having to try to defend something which you may well disapprove of. I tried to see exactly what was happening — it looked as though the gorilla was putting an arm [around] the child — like the female who rescued and returned the child from the Chicago exhibit. Anyway, whatever, it is a devastating loss to the zoo, and to the gorillas. How did the others react? Are they allowed to see, and express grief, which seems to be so important? Feeling for you, Jane"
According to People, Goodall is referring to Binti Jua, a gorilla who picked up a boy that fell into the exhibit, cradled him in her arms, and carried him to zookeepers at the door.
The boy's family has released a new statement, urging anyone who wants to help to donate to the zoo on Harambe's behalf.