110K And Counting: 'Harambe's Law' Petition


More than 110,000 people have signed a Change.org petition which calls for the creation of a law to hold zoo visitors responsible for the well-being of endangered animals held there. This comes in the wake of Harambe the gorilla's shooting in the Cincinnati Zoo May 28.

The author of the petition, a woman from Chicago, plans to send the petition to lawmakers once it receives enough signatures, KMOV reports.

A different petition created by a woman in Cincinnati blames the 4-year-old's parents for neglect and calls for them to be investigated, according to WCPO.  This one has garnered an even higher number of supporters so far at around 330,000.

The investigation of the incident is ongoing, and may possibly still result in criminal charges for the parents.  On May 31, prosecutor Joe Deters released the following statement related to the case:

"The incident at the Cincinnati Zoo involving the young child who fell into the gorilla enclosure is under investigation by the Cincinnati Police Department. Once their investigation is concluded, they will confer with our office on possible criminal charges. When the investigation and review are complete, we will update the media."

Internet commentators upset with Harambe's death have taken to social media to condemn the incident.  The parents have been blamed by many for allowing their child to run off, and zoo security has also been criticized for not adequately blocking the child from the gorilla's enclosure.

The petition for "Harambe's Law" called for negligent visitors to face legal consequences when their actions cause harm to endangered animals.  The petition identifies zoo visitors as parties responsible for animals' safety.

It reads:

It is completely negligent for any man, woman or child to enter an exhibit or restricted area at a zoo, sanctuary or wild animal park. To ensure this never happens again, we would like to enact Harambe's Law, that if at anytime this shall occur, the negligent party and or [parties] be held financially and criminally responsible for any harm and or loss to an animal, specifically when said animal is Critically Endangered.

Sources: WCPO, KMOV, Change.org / Photo credit: ViralHog via Daily Mail

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