Over the holiday weekend, a young child fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. To rescue him, the zoo's response team shot and killed one of the gorillas, a 17-year-old male named Harambe. If you've heard about the incident and are looking for a way to help, then look no further than the latest request from the family of the boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit.
In a statement Wednesday, the family said that they would not accept the donations being offered to them, instead encouraging people to donate to the zoo. "Some have offered money to the family, which we do not want and will not accept. If anyone wishes to make a gift, we recommend a donation to the Cincinnati Zoo in Harambe's name," they said. The family, and the boy who was involved in the incident, have remained anonymous.
As CBS News reported Wednesday, a number of investigations are planned or underway after Saturday's tragic incident. Harambe, a western lowland gorilla, was a member of a critically endangered species. The young boy who entered the enclosure was rescued without any serious injuries, and his family reported Wednesday that he was "still doing well" after his latest checkup with doctors.
The Cincinnati Zoo's response team made the decision to shoot Harambe after the gorilla had dragged the small child around the enclosure for about 10 minutes. The team used a rifle instead of a tranquilizer to more quickly eliminate the risk posed to the boy. The boy's family expressed their gratitude to the team for handling a difficult and risky situation:
We continue to praise God for His grace and mercy, and to be thankful to the Cincinnati Zoo for their actions taken to protect our child.
The Cincinnati Zoo has apparently also heard from a number of people looking to help. The zoo accepts donations on its website, and offers unique perks to those who choose to join its donor club. In the wake of Saturday's incident, the zoo has revved up its efforts to support gorilla conservation. They've encouraged the public to honor Harambe by supporting an Africa-based research group which studies western lowland gorillas, like Harambe. Concerned members of the public can also recycle their cellphones or "adopt" a gorilla at the zoo in order to support its ongoing conservation efforts.