Harambe The Gorilla: Jack Hanna Interview Concerning Lethal Shots [Video]

Harambe the gorilla was killed during an incident at Cincinnati Zoo. However, did zookeepers act appropriately? Here’s what animal expert Jack Hanna says.

As you’ve possibly read at this point, Harambe was part of the Gorilla World habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo, in Ohio. There are a lot of mixed emotions concerning Harambe and whether or not the situation called for lethal actions by the gorilla’s zookeepers.

Since the zoo incident occurred, several experts have weighed in with their professional opinions on Harambe, what possibly could’ve happened, and why. For the most part, these experts side with the zookeepers’ decisions to accordingly act. World-renown animal expert Jack Hanna also gave his professional advice concerning the gorilla and the child.

Hanna says that he agrees with the zoo’s decision “1000 percent.” Jack emphases that he has adept experience working with gorilla’s like Harambe in the wild — over 30 years worth. Also, according to CBS This Morning, Jack Hanna is one of the directors at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, in Ohio.

Hanna mentions that during this incident — regardless of people’s screams, it was apparent from Harambe’s reaction and expression that he had no idea what was happening. Likewise, Jack states that, although it wasn’t the gorilla’s fault for the situation, Harambe’s death was a choice which had to be made between human life and animal life. You can watch Jack Hanna’s interview with CBS This Morning below.

Jack Hanna Interview Concerning Harambe the Gorilla

According to Hanna, a gorilla’s strength is unlike anything you’ve possibly ever experienced. And, while zookeepers did have non-lethals and tranquilizers in their arsenals, Jack believes that attempting such a thing would’ve exponentially increased the young boy’s chances of being harmed.

As the interview continues, Jack Hanna elaborates that tranquilizers would have taken five to 10 minutes to take effect. Given the gorilla’s initial reactions regarding the situation, the boy could’ve been killed long before the sedative would’ve done its job.


Hanna expresses that the situation is heartbreaking, nonetheless. However, due to his experience with similar Silverback gorillas in the wild as well as in captivity, Jack says that a non-lethal shot would’ve only sent the gorilla into an emotional reaction — a circumstance where milliseconds would matter most.

Jack Hanna also mentions that he doesn’t know exactly how the child slipped into the enclosure. Likewise, he knows that people are lashing out at the child’s family concerning their neglectful possibility. Hanna says there are any number of things that the parents could’ve been doing at the time that the child got into the gorilla’s habitat. However, Jack further emphases that it’s not his business to concern himself with “why” it happened.

The source notes that there’s actually a petition circulating the internet on Harambe’s behalf, pertaining to the child’s parents. According to Mirror, many people believe that the young boy’s family should’ve been paying attention to him much more. For the child to access the gorilla’s enclosure, many say, would’ve taken more than a few seconds.

Even Jack Hanna targets that the facility’s safety is at the top tier when compared to many other zoos around the world, as well as the United States. Jack mentions that safety is of the utmost importance, and that’s why they have 15-foot walls separating the animals from the visitors. However, at some point, there has to be accountability on the visitor’s part.

Hanna uses the example that while there are similar safety precautions such as guard rails on freeways and security measures in shopping centers, there’s only such much they can do to prevent people from these potential conditions. Jack Hanna says that every zoo in the United States practices “hours upon hours” of safety drills every week. As a person with a director role at a zoo, Jack understands first-hand the types of decisions which have to be made.

And, while personnel attempts to provide safety for everyone at the facility, he says they can’t protect everyone at all times. In addition, Hanna states that he doesn’t know exactly what happened at Cincinnati’s Zoo. However, he feels that they made the right choice, without question.

All in all, what are your thoughts regarding Harambe the gorilla, the young child, and his family? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. Please keep the comments clean.

[Image via YouTube]