Imgur User Educates Us All about Gorillas

There’s been a lot of talk about the recent gorilla tragedy that occurred over the weekend after a child fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. Should Harambe the Gorilla have been shot dead? Could there have been a better solution? Here’s the video again in case you live under a rock and haven’t seen it yet:

Experts from all over have decided to give their two cents to the matter, with the famous Jane Goodall even throwing her hat into the ring with an email she sent:

But one of the most informative posts we’ve seen on the issue comes from Imgur user, TheGeminiTIGER. The post gives details and examples as to why shooting Harambe was the right thing to do in that circumstance.

TheGeminiTIGER includes video sources as examples of typical gorilla behavior, along with his (or her) own commentary on the videos:

“[T]he charge is one of the silverback’s main tactics to intimidate threats,” TheGeminiTIGER writes. “They’ll run through bushes, sweep branches and twigs off the ground, snap trees, expose their fangs, and beat their chests. Anything to neutralize a threat without actual physical contact.”

Here the 400 lb gorilla, Kijito of the Omaha Zoo, charges a zoo visitor. “He’s probably the angriest gorilla in captivity,” said TheGeminiTIGER. “When I searched for gorilla charging videos, Kijito popped up more than any other gorilla in captivity or even from the wild.”

Here’s another video of Kijito busting up some zoo glass. But as TheGeminiTIGER explains, no one was in real danger.
“[T]ruth is Kijito wasn’t even close to breaking through,” he writes. “Zoos use a multi-layered pane of laminated glass inter-layered with polyvinyl butyral. While it’s impressive that Kijito cracked the glass, there’s maybe 4 other layers that remain intact.”


Here’s a video of two silverbacks fighting. Again, TheGeminiTIGER: “The alpha male must rule his troop with complete dominance and cannot compromise his position for any reason. Even zoo staff are considered subordinate to the alpha silverback.”


A silverback mountain gorilla brings down a tree with just one arm in this video, showcasing the amazing strength these creatures have. TheGeminiTIGER wrote: “It is believed that gorillas are 20 times stronger than your average man. This is all based on documented feats of strength coupled with the anatomy of a gorilla. They possess much more muscle mass, and far denser Type 2 muscle fibers, the muscles responsible for fast twitch responses. This gives them their explosive strength.”

In the end, TheGeminiTIGER’s assessment of Harambe incident is thus:

“The real subject matter of this album is why it was necessary to kill Harambe and neutralize a truly deadly situation.

While gorillas aren’t really violent in their nature, there is no telling what will trigger a silverback to go [crazy].

Here’s what I believe is happening…

When the gorilla began to make contact with 4 year old Isaiah Dickerson, that’s when overly boisterous onlookers may have instigated unpredictable behavior from Harambe, which resulted in the boy being dragged through the moat water away from the offending crowd.

When the staff approached Harambe to recover the child, it looked as if Harambe had established possession of the boy to maintain his dominance, because even staff are regarded as subordinate subjects. At this point, any number of things could have happened. The injured 4 year old boy was in the grip of one of the pound for pound, strongest animals in the world… a 450lb silverback gorilla.”

So there you have it: another voice backing up the zookeepers. Whether the zookeepers did the right thing or not will still be the subject of much controversy, but at least after reading this post, we can all be a little more educated about gorillas and how powerful they are.

Go ahead and check out the full Imgur post, which includes more videos and commentary not in this article, including one video where a goose confronts a gorilla with hilarious results.