Most of us are aware of the tragic killing of Harambe by security personnel at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Cincinnati, Ohio, in an effort to save the life of a 3-year-old boy. However, many of us don’t know much about Harambe, a 17-year-old male western lowland gorilla.
Before I let you know how Harambe got its name, let me first tell you a few interesting facts about the slain wild animal.
Harambe was born on May 27, 1999, at Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville, Texas. As I said earlier, Harambe belongs to the western lowland gorilla species. He spent most part of his life in the Gladys Porter Zoo. It was brought to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in 2014 to study its behavior as a part of a gorilla behavioral research study.
Now, let’s talk about its name.
When Harambe was born in 1999, the Cincinnati Zoo ran a naming contest asking people to come up with a nice name for him. Dan Van Coppenolle suggested the name, Harambe, and the officials liked it. He was announced the winner of the naming contest. When asked about how he got the name idea, he told the officials that he first heard the word, Harambe, in a Rita Marley’s (Bob Marley’s wife) song. Play the following YouTube video to listen to the Harambe song.
Harambe is a Swahili word, and it roughly translates to “working together,” “staying together,” “communal bonding,” “social sharing,” etc. in English.
It was too bad that Harambe had to die that way. A lot of people were angry with the zoo officials and even the boy’s mother. I don’t want put blame on anyone here, not even the mother. It was a bad day for Harambe. Tranquilizing him was an option, but a tranquilizer would at least need ten minutes to work, and something bad could happen to the boy in those few minutes, so the bloodshed was unavoidable on that day.
On a lighter note,