Woman with same name as mother of boy in Cincinnati gorilla incident facing backlash

FILE - Harambe the gorilla. (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden / Facebook / MGN)

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WNWO) - A Weston, Ohio woman says she has received hateful messages, because she happens to share the same name as the mother of the boy who entered the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo on Saturday. Harambe, a 17-year-old endangered silverback gorilla, was killed in the incident.

The woman has never even been to the Cincinnati Zoo, but sharing the same name as the mother involved, combined with living in the state of Ohio, has become a scary combination.

RELATED | #JusticeForHarambe: Gorilla killing sparks social media outrage

NBC 24 has chosen to not use the name of the mother whose child entered the exhibit, but has confirmed that this particular woman does share her name.

"It is scary," she said. "I feel bad for (the boy's mother), because I know what she's going through even though I'm not her."

She has been receiving messages on Facebook from all over the country -- about 250 in all.

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"Probably 20 to 30 have been really hateful. A lot of them aren't nice and say things like I should die," she said. "One said my child should've died even though I wasn't the mother involved."

The woman says she has replied to all of the messages -- and has done so in a kind, calm way.

Now, she's hoping everyone can move forward.

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"Overall, I just wish people would be happy the little kid is not injured and is OK. It's a sad situation that Harambe was killed, but the little kid is OK and he's fine."

She says she has also been receiving messages of support.

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