Yes, I am talking about Harambe, the gorilla who was unfortunately shot and killed after a child climbed into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. I am sad that such a healthy and intelligent animal had to be killed. It is a loss for Cincinnati. Harambe was born at another Zoo, and brought to Cincinnati in 2015 as part of a breeding program. He was an endangered species, as well.
Also, I am glad the animal was shot rather than a three-year-old child being mauled to death. There, I said it. The child was way more important than that gorilla. Period. I love animals, and I am always supremely pissed off when people mistreat animals and then blame the animal for their own faults. However, this was a life or death situation. One does not risk a human child for the sake of an animal.
You can blame the child’s parents. You can talk about how a tranquilizer dart should have been used, or how the gorilla didn’t have any intention to hurt the toddler. You can Monday-Morning Quarterback all you like. His keepers knew what he was capable of, and they made a split second decision to safeguard the welfare of the human in the enclosure. Good for them.
- Fact 1: That gorilla weighed 450lbs. Tranquilizer darts are known to agitate large animals until the drug has time to work. So, had the animal been shot with a tranquilizer dart, he may have decided to beat the child against a wall. He may have mauled the child to death.
- Fact 2: Parents sometimes have to take their eyes off their children. In this case, the mother was distracted by another child in their party. I don’t know how many of you have children, but a toddler can scale a wall in seconds. A toddler can and will do all kinds of dangerous things, because they have physical mobility and almost ZERO fear. They don’t tell you to beware of two and three year olds for no reason. They really are terrible years. Seriously. My 9 year old saved the life of his two year old cousin when he nearly fell off a cliff. The adults were admiring the view for a total of 15 seconds, and the cliff was pretty securely fenced off.
- Fact 3: No matter how the child wound up in the enclosure, the important thing was saving the child’s life. Gorillas are still not people. They are smart, they can do all kinds of things. They have emotions. They are not a precious human child. It doesn’t matter whose fault it was. Safeguarding the HUMAN who wound up in that enclosure (through no fault of the Gorilla) was the goal. The goal was met. I am sad that it had to be that way.
You can rage about it. You can demand that the parents of the child be ‘held accountable’ in some way. You can blame whomever you want. However, I will sit over here and be thankful that yet another parent did not lose their baby. If the gorilla had been subdued with a tranquilizer dart, and became angry and killed your child anyway, all of these crazy people would still hate you. Because they are so perfect that an accident could never happen to them.
Read this open letter to the mom by another blogger. I am not the only one.
(who was crucified in the comments section after her child was killed…..because she let her 17 year old son out after dark)
Edited to reflect Harambe’s history
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