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#RIPHarambe: Who Was Harambe? Facts About the Critically Endangered Animal

May 31, 2016 03:38 AM EDT
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Young gorillas captured in tender embrace

The recent shooting of the gorilla named Harambe prompted outrage in the animal community. With a boy and an endangered animal at stake, animal rights activists are putting the blame on authorities for not fencing the enclosure well and on the 4-year-old boy's "irresponsible" parents.

But who was Harambe before he was shot dead? Is there something to be worried now that the population is one primate less?

Below are some facts you might need to know.

  1. Harambe belongs to western lowland silverback gorillas, which are critically endangered. Up to date, there are only around 175,000 in the wild.
  2. Harambe, who was under the care of Cincinnati Zoo is one of the 360 gorillas in a captive breeding program.
  3. He was moved to Cincinnati Zoo in 2014 after being in Gladys Porter Zoo, Texas for several years, as perBustle.com .
  4. He was one of the 10 lowland silverback gorillas at the Cincinnati Zoo.
  5. He was raised by a guy named Jerry Stones in Texas who said he was very sad about the tragic death of Harambe, who he fondly calls the "gentle giant."
  6. Harambe was a 400-pound silverback gorilla. He was 17-year-old when he was put to rest by an emergency response team after a four-year-old boy fell into his mound.
  7. He just had his birthday on May 27.
  8. According to WWF, western lowland gorillas can be distinguished from other gorilla subspecies by their slightly smaller size, their brown-grey coats and auburn chests. They also have wider skulls with more pronounced brow ridges and smaller ears.
  9. About 5% of Harambe's kind is killed in the wild each year. Aside from hunting, lack of habitat and infectious diseases also threaten their population, CNN said.
  10. A Facebook group called "Justice for Harambe" was created on Sunday, as well as a Change.org petition, calling for the boy's parents to be held responsible for the boy's death as well as Harambe's.

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