Kaley Cuoco Blames Harambe The Gorilla’s ‘Senseless’ Death On ‘People Not Using Their Brains’
Kaley Cuoco has joined the legions of people who are outraged over the death of Harambe the gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo over the weekend. The actress and animal activist took to her Instagram account on Monday to slam the zoo for its decision to shoot and kill the 17-year-old male gorilla after a 4-year-old boy fell into its enclosure.
Kaley Cuoco blames Harambe’s tragic death on “people not using their brains.” She also suggests that the 450-pound silverback gorilla was “holding that child’s hand,” referring to video footage that surfaced after the incident.
“I’m sure I will get tons of backlash (per usual) I mean let’s be honest, I wear the wrong sweatpants and the entire world has something to say about it, but once again, another senseless horrendous animal being killed over people not using their brains. If you watch the footage, you see this gorgeous animal holding that child’s hand. Do with that,what you will. As sad as this makes me, a part of me is happy for that amazing creature doesn’t have to live in captivity another day. Bring on the hate!!!!”
Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard addressed the idea of Kaley Cuoco and many others that Harambe appeared to be holding the boy’s hand and trying to protect him. During a press conference on Monday, Maynard said this was not the case at all. He explained that Harambe “was clearly agitated” and “disoriented” before the gorilla was shot dead by the zoo’s trained Dangerous Animal Response team.
Witness Kim O’Connor told People that what’s not shown in the footage that Kaley Cuoco and others are referring to is how Harambe “pulled the boy up the wall.” She went on to describe Harambe’s actions, stating it was as if “he was treating the little boy like a Raggedy Ann doll in his grip.”
O’Connor filmed much of the horrific encounter between Harambe and the boy. However, she turned her camera off as Harambe pulled the toddler onto the cement portion of his enclosure. “I was frozen in fear, it was too traumatic to be on camera,” she explained.
Other witnesses told CNN that the screams of the onlookers appeared to agitate Harambe, causing the situation to escalate very quickly. Tangi Holliefield said it appeared to her that Harambe was becoming aggressive and was determined to not let the boy go. “There was nobody getting that baby back from that gorilla — no one was taking him,” she told a CNN affiliate.
Bruce Davis, who was with Holliefield, agreed that the boy was in imminent danger with Harambe.
“From what we saw [the child] could have been killed at any second. He threw him 10 feet in the air, and I saw him land on his back. It was a mess.”
Former zookeeper Amanda O’Donoughue posted a sincere message on Facebook Monday offering her thoughts on the heart-wrenching situation. In the post, which has since gone viral, she tries to clarify some facts that critics, like Kaley Cuoco, may not understand about Harambe’s nature and power. O’Donoughue, who has experience working with gorillas, describes Harambe’s behavior in the video as a zookeeper’s nightmare.
“I have watched this video over again, and with the silverback’s postering, and tight lips, it’s pretty much the stuff of any keeper’s nightmares, and I have had MANY while working with them. This job is not for the complacent. Gorillas are kind, curious, and sometimes silly, but they are also very large, very strong animals.”
She also disagrees with Kaley Cuoco’s popular opinion that Harambe was “protecting” the child.
“I keep hearing that the Gorilla was trying to protect the boy. I do not find this to be true. Harambe reaches for the boys hands and arms, but only to position the child better for his own displaying purposes.”
O’Donoughue said that “Harambe was most likely not going to separate himself from that child without seriously hurting him first.” She explained that Harambe may not have harmed him intentionally, but could have quickly and easily done so simply due to his size and strength. She also pointed out that an adult male silverback gorilla, like Harambe, has one job — to protect his group from anything he feels threatened by.
Some who share similar opinions to Kaley Cuoco’s have started an online petition seeking “Justice for Harambe.” Supporters are asking that the Cincinnati Zoo, Hamilton County Child Protection Services, and Cincinnati Police Department hold the parents responsible for parental negligence and for Harambe’s death.
[Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]