WPYX/Albany Interviews Texas Zookeeper Who Raised Gorilla Killed In Cincinnati Zoo Via Envision's Guest Services
June 2, 2016 at 1:58 PM (PT)
iHEARTMEDIA Rock WPYX (PYX 106)/ALBANY, NY, aired an exclusive interview with JERRY STONES, the TEXAS zookeeper who helped raise HARAMBE, the 17-year-old western lowland gorilla who was shot and killed at the CINCINNATI ZOO after a child fell into his enclosure, MAY 28th.
In the interview, courtesy of ENVISION's GUEST SERVICES, STONES spoke with radio affiliates about the tragedy while appearing on the station's "QUINN & CANTARA Morning Show."
STONES discussed misconceptions about gorillas, his time raising HARMABE and what’s being done in his memory. He also offered stories about his experience with the gorilla and his behavior during the incident at the CINCINNATI ZOO.
“He was in a situation that he could not win. He didn’t know whether he had to be scared. He didn’t know whether to be curious. He didn’t know what to do. While he sat in there trying to figure out where to go in life, a decision had to be made that didn’t benefit him,” STONES said of HARAMBE’s behavior after the child fell into the enclosure.
STONES also corrected the assumption that gorillas are inherently vicious, explaining that the gorilla’s size and strength make them more likely to injure someone while being playful instead of actually being aggressive.
“He was playful. He wasn’t mean, but when they run by you and they slap you upside the head, your bell’s going to ring forever. They might kill you playing with you, more than kill you out of meanness,” he explained.
While STONES and many others mourn HARAMBE’s death, they’re using the national attention to raise awareness of declining gorilla populations and raise money for THE HARAMBE FUND. Money donated to the fund will benefit the MBELI BAI STUDY, which works to conserve western lowland gorillas.
“We’re going to try and take this devastating death and turn it around and try and get some good out of it in his name,” STONES said.
Further information on THE HARAMBE FUN and details on how to donate can be found here. To hear the full interview with STONES, go here.