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Learn English meaning of ‘Harambe’

Date: Jul 18 2016

Themes: News, Pop Culture

Grammar: Passive Voice


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Something tragic happened at the Cincinnati Zoo on May 28, 2016. A three-year-old boy fell into the gorilla pit. Zoo workers then killed a gorilla to save the boy. This event rattled many people, who then started asking questions. How can we stop these kinds of accidents? Are zoos safe? Was it wrong to kill Harambe, the gorilla?

There are two main points of view in this issue. The activists for animal rights think that it is horrible that an animal was killed. They think this is an example of bad parenting, and that the child’s mother should be in trouble for not watching him more carefully. On the other hand, most parents think a child’s life is more important than an animal’s life.

Andy and Marni are talking about what happened to Harambe. Listen to this English lesson to find out what they think.


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Andy_H:  Hey Marni! Have you heard of Harambe?

Marni:  Is that the gorilla from the Cincinnati Zoo that was killed?

Andy_H:  It is, it was, yes. It’s really a tragic story. It’s interesting because it’s brought up so many different points of view that people have about animal rights and also about parenting. Harambe was a gorilla and a child fell into the gorilla pit. Harambe was actually shot dead in order to save the child…

Marni:  Right.

Andy_H:  ...and this has rattled animal rights activists who are upset that a gorilla got killed because of, quote unquote, bad parenting.

Marni:  Well, I think it is tragic that he died, but I am a parent myself, and so the other side of me thinks, yeah, if that was my kid that fell in there, I’d do whatever it takes to get him out. I can understand the parenting view and accidents do happen.

Andy_H:  And that’s the thing with this issue. Is it more of an animal rights issue or more of a parenting issue? It’s really a hard topic that has brought a lot of people who are usually in confrontation together.

Marni:  Well, maybe there’s something to be said for that.

Andy_H:  Let’s hope.


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Andy asks Marni if she heard about what happened to Harambe. Marni is not quite sure what happened at the Cincinnati Zoo, so Andy tells her the story of the little boy who fell into the gorilla pit. He thinks Harambe’s death is tragic but interesting because now people have such strong points of view about the issue.

Marni understands that this issue is about both animal rights and parenting. Marni herself feels rattled because she is a parent. She knows that sometimes accidents happen even when parents are good parents. She hopes that parents and activists will be able to learn something from each other in this confrontation. Andy agrees with her.

What do you think about this story? Do you agree with the parents or with the animal rights activists?



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ola3Super Member!


What’s done is done to save a child. Parents are to blame for neglecting their child in the zone of risk that caused animal death.

09:48 AM Jul 22 2016 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

In my point of view all living beings is important and It’s clear that human life is more important than the other. Because we are human and we are on the human hand.

But careless parents is another issue. In this case killing a gorilla saved the boy’s life. In other situation it may not work anything to save careless parents’s kids! So it need to punish these kinds of parents.

05:30 PM Jul 18 2016 |



ı watched this news on TV with mixed feelings, 

ı got happy when 3 years old child was saved ,

ı got sad when Gorilla was killed .

and last note, Harambe was very innocent in this event,suddenly child fell down the gorilla pit and Gorilla didnt understand anything  and Gorilla was killed by Zoo workers.

and now, all Zoo responsibles must take better precautions for saving other Harambes.and parents must be more careful .

03:06 PM Jul 18 2016 |


GWTASuper Member!


It´s clear, the dead of Harambe is very sad.

It´s also claer, it was a bad parerting .

But a child is more importend than an animal.

12:11 PM Jul 18 2016 |

La Princesse de la vie


Well, I felt bad myself hearing of that. I sort of have mixed feelings about it. Accidents do happen and it has nothing to do with parenting I guess, but I think it will be a reminder for parents now to keep their kids by their side when in the zoo. But did they really have to kill Harambe, why didn’t they just anesthetize it?

12:09 PM Jul 18 2016 |

2 people like this



United States

That was definitely tragedy. Mother should be blamed for bad parenting. But the fact is the boy fell into the gorilla pit and zoo staff need to do something very quickly for saving child’s life. That means they have no choice to kill gollira because that is the matter of which is more important , gollira’s life or human’s life. Nobody would choose gollira out of your beloved. Parent’s responsibility is another issue.

06:59 AM Jul 18 2016 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Well,that’s right the child parents are guilty but that happen and we should decide which is matter the child or gorilla live,of course the child and its better the animal’s supporter be rational

04:41 AM Jul 18 2016 |

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