The killing of lowland gorilla Harambe has stirred the pot when it comes to controversy, after a young boy slipped through the fencing and fell into a moat inside the endangered animals enclosure.
Some people blame the boys parents for allowing him to climb into the enclosure, and others blame the zoo for taking such drastic actions and some people just want to know why Harambe was in a zoo to begin with. But if there’s one thing were certain of, Harambe didn’t deserve to die this way.
But if there’s one person who’s opinion is pretty valid here, it has to be Levan Merritt a British guy who fell into a gorillas enclosure at Jersey Zoo in 1986. The gorilla, Jambo, protected him until ambulance services could attend to him.
He was only five years old, and fell down 20 feet into the gorilla pit. When the pack came over to investigate, a 7ft tall silver back male by the name of Jambo took an interest in the unconscious mini-human standing over him in a protective manner to keep the other apes away, and stroking his back. When Levan came to and began screaming, Jambo backed off and allowed zoo workers to attend to the little boy.
Levan has spoken to The Sun about Harambes shooting and revealed he believes Cincinnati zoo officials made the right decision.
I know what its like to come face to face with an enormous gorilla absolutely terrifying. But my experience taught me they are also incredibly caring.
Watching the American video brought it all back. I felt for the boy but also felt for the gorilla. Did they have to kill it? Well, he wouldn’t have known his own strength compared to a child, having lived in captivity and never touched a human infant.
And he does grab the boy and drags him into the water at a terrifying speed. The four-year-old is tiny and could easily have been injured. So they made the correct decision to save the boys life.
In my case, Jambo made sure nothing bad could happen.
Levan, now 35, explained that he never blamed his parents for the fall. He said:
They felt guilty but I always told them it was my fault. I was a young lad, always wandering off, exploring things.
Jambo was actually a very unique animal, as he was the first male gorilla to be born in captivity. He died in 1992 and Jersey zoo invited Levan to unveil the bronze statue raised in his honor.
Please SHARE this incredible story with your friends & family.