Video: New Footage Shows Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla Harambe as a Playful Baby, Meaning of His Name

By Denisse Moreno, Epoch Times
June 1, 2016 Updated: June 1, 2016

In the midst of controversy over the death of the gorilla Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo, a video shows the animal’s early days when he was a playful baby.

The video, released by CNN on June 1, shows Harambe at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownville, Texas. The footage is from Dan Van Coppenolle, who named the gorilla Harambe—which means caring, working together, and sharing in Swahili.

Harambe, who was born on May 27, 1999, was transferred to Cincinnati Zoo in 2014, after spending the first 15 years of his life at Brownville.

The low land silverback gorilla is seen playing, hugging, and jumping in the arms of the zoo keeper.

Van Coppenolle named the gorilla after winning a contest, he explained in a 1999 interview with KGBT.

He said he came up with the name when he was listening to reggae song that said “Harambe” continuously.

Harambe was shot dead on May 27 after a 3-year-old boy fell into his pit. Footage of the incident shows the gorilla dragging the boy around the exhibit, but at times it looked like he was protecting the child.

The death of the gorilla has sparked outrage and criticism against the shooting, as well as the parents of the child.