After gorilla's death, petitioners seek 'Justice for Harambe'

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After Gorilla's Death, Petitioners Seek 'Justice for Harambe'

Outrage has continued to grow over the killing of a 17-year-old gorilla after a child fell into its enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. And now, thousands are calling for the boy's parents to be held responsible.

SEE ALSO: Killed gorilla seemed to protect child who fell in enclosure: witness

By Monday afternoon, more than 143,000 people had signed a "Justice for Harambe" online petition calling for the zoo, law enforcement and child protective services to hold the parents responsible.

The petition is just one of 13 on Change.org related to Saturday's incident.
The boy's family released a statement obtained by Newsy's partners at WCPO that said, in part, "... We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff.

We know that this was a very difficult decision for them and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla. ..."

Photos of Harambe and social media reactions his death:

14 PHOTOS
Gorilla killed after toddler falls into moat
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After gorilla's death, petitioners seek 'Justice for Harambe'
Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo is pictured in this undated handout photo provided by Cincinnati Zoo. REUTERS/Cincinnati Zoo/Handout via ReutersATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
A child touches the head of a gorilla statue where flowers have been placed outside the Gorilla World exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Sunday, May 29, 2016, in Cincinnati. On Saturday, a special zoo response team shot and killed Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, that grabbed and dragged a 4-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit moat. Authorities said the boy is expected to recover. He was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Lucas Salcedo, 5, points toward the shuttered Gorilla World exhibit as he asks his father if they could enter at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Sunday, May 29, 2016, in Cincinnati. On Saturday, a special zoo response team shot and killed Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, that grabbed and dragged a 4-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit moat. Authorities said the boy is expected to recover. He was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Visitors pass a gorilla statue where flowers have been placed outside the Gorilla World exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Sunday, May 29, 2016, in Cincinnati. On Saturday, a special zoo response team shot and killed Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, that grabbed and dragged a 4-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit moat. Authorities said the boy is expected to recover. He was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Children pause at the feet of a gorilla statue where flowers and a sympathy card have been placed, outside the Gorilla World exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Sunday, May 29, 2016, in Cincinnati. On Saturday, a special zoo response team shot and killed Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, that grabbed and dragged a 4-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit moat. Authorities said the boy is expected to recover. He was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Children read a sympathy card left at the feet of a gorilla statue outside the Gorilla World exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Sunday, May 29, 2016, in Cincinnati. On Saturday, a special zoo response team shot and killed Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, that grabbed and dragged a 4-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit moat. Authorities said the boy is expected to recover. He was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
This #Gorilla thing has me stressed out, I know that there was a child in the cage, but the animal did nothing to the child.
I'm so mad reading about this gorilla story . The gorilla didn't even look like a threat
The parents need to be held accountable RT @Channel4News: gorilla shot dead after a boy fell into its zoo enclosure https://t.co/54KjJju8i3
A magnificent gorilla dies because parents can't watch their kids. There I fixed it https://t.co/k8pUBs2SGV
Put endangered gorilla in zoo. Allow child into gorilla's cage. Shoot gorilla dead. Redefine "conservation". https://t.co/TeWZJSBuE9
I may be ignorant to gorilla psychology but, if the gorilla wanted to harm the boy, wouldn't he have done it? looked like protection to me
Yo kid stumble into a gorilla cage, pretty sure that gorilla can raise the kid better than you
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Multiple media outlets have reported the mother of the boy also posted a message to her critics on Facebook.

The post read, "As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids." The message has since been taken down.

The zoo made the decision to shoot Harambe, a male western lowland gorilla, to protect a 4-year-old boy who climbed into the animal's enclosure and fell into a moat. Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered.

The zoo's director said the Dangerous Animal Response Team decided against using a tranquilizer because it would take a while to set in and would agitate the gorilla.

But not everyone agrees with the decision. One petition calls for an investigation into the zoo's actions, while another calls for the state of Ohio to create "Harambe's law," which would hold visitors accountable for actions that lead to the injury or death of an endangered animal at a zoo.

As for the boy, he is reportedly home after being treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

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