U.S police to look into shooting of zoo gorilla

[Animals ★★]


(P1) Police in Ohio, USA are looking into the shooting of a 17-year-old gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo. They will find out the facts about the killing of Harambe the gorilla after a four-year-old boy fell into the ape’s cage. The video shows the gorilla dragging the boy through water in his cage for ten minutes. Some people at the zoo said they were worried about the boy’s safety. Other people said the gorilla was protecting the child and that the animal was upset by the noise from the crowds of people looking at it. Zookeepers decided to shoot the gorilla because they were worried about the boy’s life.

(P2) Animal rights groups are angry that the gorilla was killed. They say zookeepers should have shot Harambe to make him sleep. Zookeepers said it takes too long to make a 200kg gorilla sleep and that the boy was in danger. There is now an online petition that 300,000 people signed. They say the boy’s mother and the zoo are responsible for Harambe’s death. People think the mother should have looked after her son better. The mother said no parent can watch their children every second. She said: “As a society, we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off their child.”

WORDS: 212

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1606/160602-harambe.html

VOCABULARY: cage, dragging, upset, crowds, zookeepers, petition, judge


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. What’s your opinion about zoos?
  3. Why do people blame the zoo for the gorilla’s death?
  4. As a society, are we quick to judge other people? Why or why not?


  1. How old was Harambe the gorilla?
  2. The gorilla was upset by the noises of the crowd. (T or F)
  3. How much did Harambe weigh?
  4. How many signed the appeal?


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Find out (P1)
  • Animal rights groups (P2)
  • Should have shot him to make him sleep (P2)
  • Looked after (P2)
  • Eyes off (P2)

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Image source: Credit WCPO Cincinnati http://www.wcpo.com/news/insider/zoos-gorilla-world-makeover-will-allow-for-year-round-viewing

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