If you ask almost anyone who the first person they think of when it comes to gorillas, the answer will almost always be the famed primatologist Jane Goodall, who is known for her research on the wild primates. In response to all of the media attention recently surrounding the tragic death of Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo, Goodall felt the need to respond to all the criticism and critiques that have been floating around. The Jane Goodall Institute is sharing an email she sent to Thane Maynard, who is the director of the zoo, in response to the killing of Harambe.
In her email to the director Maynard, which started so personally with “Dear Thane,” Goodall says, “I feel so sorry for you, having to try to defend something which you may well disapprove of.”
The rest of her letter seems to have a rather disapproving tone. “It looked as though the gorilla was putting an arm round the child — like the female who rescued and returned the child from the Chicago exhibit,” she writes. She is referencing a similar case in 1996, where a child fell into a gorilla enclosure and a female gorilla delivered the child to zookeepers at the service door.
She fails to say much more on the subject, choosing instead to move away from the incident and ask how the other gorillas in the exhibit are responding, as gorillas are extremely social creatures and Harambe’s passing is sure to have made an impact.
“Are they allowed to see, and express grief, which seems to be so important,” she asks before ending her email with a “Feeling for you.”
When asked for more commentary, The Institute replied that both they and Jane Goodall are currently refraining from making additional statements outside the email. It clear to see, though, that their compassion for these creatures is beyond compare.
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