The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden made headlines this weekend after a four-year-old boy fell into the gorilla enclosure. The harrowing incident resulted in the the shooting death by zookeepers of the 17-year-old rare western lowland silverback gorilla Harambe. Since Saturday, the zoo has come under fire for its decision to kill the gorilla instead of tranquilizing him, or subduing him by other means.
The Big Bang Theory star and animal rights activist Kaley Cuoco took to social media to discuss the events that took place and chastise the zoo for its seemingly rash decision.
Kaley Cuoco anticipated backlash from her fans and wrote very candidly about the situation:
RIP #harambe Im sure I will get tons of backlash (per usual) I mean let's be honest, I wear the wrong sweatpants and the entire world has something to say about it, but once again , another senseless horrendous animal being killed over people not using their brains. If you watch the footage, you see this gorgeous animal holding that child's hand. Do with that ,what you will. As sad as this makes me, a part of me is happy for that amazing creature doesn't have to live in captivity another day. Bring on the hate!!!!
As a lifelong animal lover, Cuoco's despair over the death of Harambe is understandable. This isn't the first time she's spoken out on social media about the unfair treatment of animals. Just last week she posted the following image and caption regarding news of two lions being killed after a man leapt into their cage as a suicide attempt.
Despite the public outcry, in a news conference in the aftermath, Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard stood by the organization's decision, given the severity of the situation.
“That child’s life was in danger. People who question that don’t understand you can’t take a risk with a silverback gorilla — this is a dangerous animal. Looking back, we’d make the same decision. The child is safee."
If you stand with Cuoco, a petition titled Justice for Harambe — which currently has more than 348,000 signatures — is making its way around the internet, calling for legal repercussions against the boy's parents.