Vale Harambe

Dear Rose,

I don’t know if you’ve heard about Harambe? Given my latest writing preoccupation – which involves all things ape – I came across his sad story. Harambe was a 17 year-old Silverback gorilla at the Cincinatti Zoo. Now some kid – a 4 year-old boy – somehow managed to crawl under a fence and fall into the gorilla enclosure. That’s some Houdini kid.Harambe.jpg

Alas for poor Harambe who didn’t know what to make of the kid, he grabbed him, stood over him and dragged him for a bit. Zoo authorities ended up shooting him dead and the kid got away comparatively unscathed.

His death has started a complete Internet furore with people very quick to condemn the Mum – especially now (thanks to the media) it’s been revealed that she’s black. It’s a sad, judgmental world we live in where everyone feels the need to judge and have an opinion. It makes me wonder – as I have been a bit lately – about the role of zoos and endangered species.

As you know I recently watched Gorillas in the Mist and what happened there was a number of gorillas were killed in order to catch one and sell it to a zoo. And it does make you wonder, where do our zoo animals come from, who gets paid for them and what level of accountability is there?

Sorry for this rather serious post  – here’s something funny…


But Harambe’s story has really disturbed me. If you want to read more about whether Harambe should even have been in a zoo in the first place, there’s a good article here.

Love you,


Mum xo

PS. Hazardous is spelt like this.

PPS. If Captain Jack Harkness teaches at your school can I come along one day?







About Heather Gallagher

Heather lives in Ocean Grove with her beautiful family and a dog called Pip. She has a passion for quirky stories. Her first book, Ferret on the Loose, was published in 2013 and was recently listed on the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge. The book was inspired by a girl and her ferret, who Heather interviewed while working as a freelance journalist for The Sunday Age. Her column, Yak Attack, ran in the Kids View section for more than a year and allowed Heather to profile people she thought would be of interest to kids. In 2014, she released her first picture book Happy Pants – Why is mummy so sad? This is NOT a story about ferret racing. Rather, it is a heartfelt story about a boy grappling with his Mum’s post-natal depression. Heather’s stories for children have appeared in black dog books Short & Scary anthology and Explore and Challenge magazines. Heather has experience in public speaking – both for children and adults. While, promoting Happy Pants she spoke to groups of counsellors, nurses, parents and at library events. She has presented writing workshops to primary-aged children. Last year, she was a presenter at the Sacred Edge festival and the Christian Writers’ Conference.
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