Animal rights activists and sympathizers are criticizing the zoo for taking such extreme measures in rescuing the 4-year-old boy from the gorilla enclosure, and some are calling for the boy’s parents to be charged in the death of 17-year-old Western lowland silverback gorilla Harambe.
A petition has started demanding the parents be charged, and it has already reached over 138,000 signatures. However, police say there is no evidence of a crime being committed. Others are calling the mother’s negligence criminal as she wasn’t paying close enough attention as her toddler crawled through bushes and plunged through the fencing.
Some are saying there was no need to kill the gorilla, while others are criticizing the zoo for not having efficient protective barriers. The zoo stated tranquilizers would not have worked immediately, and would have put the boy at greater risk instead. What people don’t seem to realize is how this situation could have just as easily resulted in the toddler’s death instead.
The boy was seen sitting in the moat surrounding the enclosure as the gorilla investigates him. Some argue Harambe was trying to protect the boy by standing over him, holding his hand and dragging him away from the panicked crowd. Others recount the boy was in immediate danger as the gorilla dragged and tossed him around.
Whatever the circumstances, the truth remains that the boy needed to be rescued. What were the zoo keepers to do? Rush in for the boy and hope the gorilla didn’t attack them all? Wait it out and cross their fingers that Harambe would let the child go eventually?
If you were this child’s parent, you’re sole focus would be on getting your little one back in one piece. You wouldn’t be concerned over the fact Harambe is part of an endangered species. Since when does an animal’s life have more value than a human’s? Never.
I fully support the zoo’s decision to eliminate the threat to the child. Yes, it’s sad and a tragedy, but I would much rather hear of a gorilla being killed than a 4-year-old kid. As for blaming the mom and mocking her “accidents happen” statement, those people must not be parents. I’m not even a mother yet, but I’ve been around toddlers, and I know how quick and sneaky they can be.
It’s all too easy to sit back and judge this mother, but the truth is, the internet doesn’t know her or her kid. You don’t know if this little boy has behavioral problems, or maybe he really is a mini Houdini. And do people really think the zoo’s first thought was to kill their rare gorilla? It’s not like they loved him, cared for him and felt he was part of their zoo family or anything…
CNN quoted the zoo director expressing the sorrow and loss they are experiencing since Harambe’s death:
“We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child’s life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made,” Thane Maynard, director of the Cincinnati Zoo, said.
There you have it, folks. The zoo is saddened by the loss, but it was their last option to save the life of a 4-year-old. And no, losing sight of your toddler for a few seconds is not a crime, so let’s stop accosting this family over something that could happen to any one of us.