July 5, 2016

Harambe was a 450-lb gorilla who was living in the Cincinnati Zoo up until just recently. Harambe died as a result of an accident involving a three-year-old little boy. Over these last several days, I’ve had a number of individuals reach out to me- both to ask me my legal opinion as a personal injury lawyer in Florida, and to get my reaction after the death of Harambe.  Harambe was a lowland Congo gorilla who was living in the Cincinnati Zoo.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida Discusses Harambe Legal Issues

The situation is this: a woman had a three-year-old little boy with her, her son, who was playing near the gorilla cage. Harambe had never been involved in any issues at the zoo during the almost seventeen years that he’d been living there. Apparently, the mother wasn’t paying attention to what the boy was doing. The boy somehow crawled into the moat near the area where the gorilla was protecting his family.

However I may feel about the death of Harambe, the gorilla who had lived for seventeen years in the Cincinnati Zoo, it doesn’t change the specific legal issues associated with what happened. Let me describe some of the issues that are likely to come out in the future about what happened in Cincinnati.

Legal Issues with Harambe and the Three-Year-Old Boy

First of all, we have to ask ourselves what the mother was doing just prior to the time period when the three-year-old little boy somehow crawled into the moat with the gorilla. Second, I’m very curious to know what kind of protection would have existed to protect the three-year-old little boy, regardless of what Harambe might decide to do.

You see, when zoos create these environments they are obligated not only to protect the animal, they’re also obligated to protect individuals from their own stupidity. We don’t really know how it is a mother could have lost control of her child and given that child enough time to crawl into a cage with a 450-lb silver back gorilla. Then, the most disheartening part of this… even worse in my opinion than the injury to the three-year-old, is the fact that because the gorilla had the three-year-old in his arms the zoo had to shoot him and kill him. What a horrible result.

The truth is, once that boy got into the arms of that gorilla, it didn’t matter how he got in there because at that point in time the zoo had an obligation to protect the life of the three-year-old.  Even though it meant ending Harambe’s life. I suspect there’s going to be some kind of lawsuit filed in this particular case.  It is my opinion as a personal injury lawyer in Florida that these are the issues that they’re going to have to resolve.  

I hope you don’t have any questions about how to store a 450-lb gorilla. But if you do have some interesting legal issues you’d like to share with us, or learn more about what your legal rights may be, let us know and get a free consultation. Thank you. http://www.corlessbarfield.com/ Free Consultation 813-258-4998


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