Leeds group hold vigil for tragic gorilla Harambe

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A vigil will take place in Leeds this month to remember a gorilla killed in controversial circumstances at an American zoo.

The group have organised a candlelit gathering in honour of Harambe, who was shot by Cincinnati Zoo keepers after a child accidentally entered his enclosure five months ago.

They will meet outside Leeds Art Gallery on the Headrow on Friday October 28 from 7-8pm.

An outpouring of sympathy followed the death of the western lowland gorilla, after he was filmed toying with a three-year-old boy who had fallen over the fence into his pen. The child was not injured but zoo staff feared for his safety as the 17-year-old silverback dragged him up a ladder out of a moat. Harambe was killed with a single gunshot, and the incident divided opinion all over the world.

Some commenters believed the boy’s parents should be held responsible and that the primate would not have harmed him, but others saw the decision as the only possible course of action.

The Leeds vigil comes days after a gorilla escaped from its enclosure at London Zoo on October 13. Kumbuka, who was seen by visitors becoming agitated before he broke free, was on the loose for 90 minutes before being safely recaptured.

All are invited to attend the vigil, and visitors should bring their own candles.

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