The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in killing Harambe the gorilla, according to officials briefed on the matter.
Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and others, including Harambe’s own caretaker, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost the nearby Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s profits.
“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one zoo over the other,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”