Wild About Harry



Harry, 1986-2016

Following the the death of ‘Harry’ the adult silverback and father of six who died after a short illness at Dublin Zoo on Sunday.

In 2009, Harry was featured in Animal Rights Action Network (Aran) investigation into the gorilla enclosure that forced Dublin Zoo to upgrade facilities.

John Carmody, of ARAN, writes:

“Sadly Harry has never really known what nature intended for him and his family which is the lust forests and rivers of the Congo, a far cry from life at Dublin Zoo,

Instead, he has known nothing but a concrete and glass enclosure with a few gimmicks thrown in to replicate the gawking onlookers.

Dublin Zoo needs to do what SeaWorld is doing and that is to end any further breeding of gorillas, commit to naturally phasing out the exhibit and to replace it with a modern, digital interaction experience of what life is like in the natural home of Harry and his species.”


Dublin Zoo’s Harry the gorilla (29) dies after short illness (Irish Times)

Pic: 98FM


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53 thoughts on “Wild About Harry

  1. Eoin

    But I thought the whole point of zoos was so people could go and see the animals in the flesh, so that they can have a proper appreciation and understanding? Thus leading to conservation? Nobody will go to see a digital display surely? And will it have the same effect as having live animals? Also, isn’t it better to have established zoo breeding programs in case of endangerment of the species? Aren’t mountain gorillas protected? And endangered?

      1. Drogg

        The scimitar horned oryx is extinct in the wild but breeding programs like the one in dublin zoo is keeping its population alive.

  2. ForFecksSake

    “a few gimmicks thrown in to replicate the gawking onlookers” T

    his doesn’t seem to make sense. Am I missing something or are there words missing?

    1. Waddy Dilson

      I actually copy/pasted the same part of that sentence to post in here to see what this was supposed to mean

  3. fluffybiscuits

    ARAN are a pack of eejiits. Stick your veganism up your nostrils

    If people cared about income inequality or 700 refugees dying on a boat as they did about a gorilla being shot because of bad parenting we would all be in a better place….

    1. Stephen Fagan

      Why do these things always have to be mutually exclusive? You don’t know if the author cares about other issues or not.

      1. Holden MaGroin

        You know what Stephen, you’re right. Fluffy may have a broad range of interests.

    2. Jess

      I also can only care about one thing at a time. That’s why I didn’t save my family from a burning house while I didn’t know who Negan killed.

        1. Jess

          Phew. Now, if i start caring about the refugees does that mean I can safely ignore the homeless?

          1. Holden MaGroin

            Homeless before refugees. We have to look after our own before de foreigners.

  4. Harry Molloy

    Victorian zoos were awful places but I think they do a lot of good work in terms of conservation and education, in the western world at least.

    There’s also a really good passage on why animals are perfectly happy in a well run zoo in Life of Pi that I won’t attempt to paraphrase. But another reason to read that book.

    1. LiamZero

      That’s one of the most awful passages of an almost offensively poor book. I’m not particularly against zoos but the argument the author posits – that animals crave safety and security and stick to small areas in the wild, and therefore are perfectly happy being imprisoned in small zoo enclosures – was among the stupidest things I’ve ever read in a novel.
      God I hated that book.

      1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

        I didn’t really like it either. It’s very silly.

    1. Holden MaGroin

      Male gorillas are called silverbacks. Not bucks. Everyone knows that Murtles.

        1. Jess

          I know a few people in Aran and only one is a vegan. I’ve also lived with vegans quite a lot and none have used supplements, most use food.

          1. wearnicehats

            I know a vegan (and quite a few vegetarians) who would bore the hoop clean off you banging on about how great they are. While wearing leather boots. And eating Haribo jellies. So whilst they’ll gladly wear the outside of, and eat the skeleton of, an animal, woe betide anyone who suggests putting the bit in the middle to good use.

          2. Nigel

            I know a man for whom the divisive nature of comparative eating habits became so contentious and aggravating he refrained from commenting about the issue on the internet.

          3. Jess

            You don’t need supplements if your diet is good clampers. The closest vegans need get is having food fortified with b12. Whether that counts as a supplement or not is up to argument.

  5. Wayne.F

    Perhaps the zoo, can stop its breeding programme for snow leopards & Amur tigers. Sure the 400 or so left in the wild will thrive

    1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

      Perhaps we could appreciate the benefits of breeding programs for some species while supporting other species to remain in the wild where they belong.

      “I’m sorry Don, i’m going to have to stop you there. This is the internet. Please pick a side.”

      Apologies. Won’t happen again

      1. Clampers Outside!

        You’re gonna need a longer balancing poll to avoid the sides !

        Like hovering over a bowl, trying not to get a skidmark on the side, it’s a bugger, but worth the effort in the end, and saves on cleaning products.

        I’m here, all weak.

  6. TomRed

    Sad to hear.

    Between this and that poor gorilla in the States (the Zoo, not the Republican nominee), I’d say Roddy Doyle can’t wait to pen another of his wojous ‘pub talks’ about it…….

    God help us…

  7. Tish Mahorey

    “and father of six”

    He’s not a human so stop describing in human terms you childish fools rebelling against your privileged upbringing until that gets boring and you need cash and rejoin conservative middle class Irish culture with a vigour even your parents would be shocked by.

  8. Markgdub

    I was born into a life of servitude, chained to a desk by gormless middle managers and burdened with a lifetime of debt sold to me by the Irish dream, home ownership.

    If only I had been born into the life of a wandering hunter gatherer, free to roam the plains, forage for food and be killed by a wild animal or disease at an early age.

    At 29, it is most likely that Harry would have been butchered in the wild and eaten as bush tucker by the lads hiding out in Uganda, fleeing genocide in Rwanda.

    Dwell on that before you wring your hand and ponder which is the less distressing outcome to a life.

    1. They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab

      well the debt slavery better work out because lets face it the comedic online commentary won’t pay the bills

  9. Truth in the News

    Would a State Funeral be too much to ask for with Micheal D doing the honours.

Comments are closed.

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