First and foremost, as a parent of a rambunctious and highly active two year toddler, I will say that if my son had fallen into a gorilla pen, I’d expect and beg for Zoo officials to act in the same manner they did when rescuing the 4 year old in Cincinnati Zoo this past weekend. I also don’t intend on slamming the parents of the 4 year old like most other bloggers and news outlets are doing.
I think it’s important to understand and take into consideration that life happens. There will be times when you’re child or children are doing things they’re not allowed to do normally, but they do it anyways. Sometimes, there are consequences associated with those actions, some larger than others. In the situation that occurred in the Cincinnati Zoo this past weekend, we learned very quickly how quickly to judge society is.
Here are some things you should know about the Gorilla Shooting this past Saturday before calling judgement.
A four year-old boy climbed a railing and squeezed through a fence where he then fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo while spectators looked on in horror.
2) Child’s Danger
Harambe, a 450 pound Gorilla, grabbed the small child, and at times aggressively dragged him around the water while onlookers screamed at the Gorilla. Bystanders stood in horror trying to distract the Gorilla until help came.
3) A Timely Decision was Made
Zoo director, Thane Maynard said of the decision of killing Harambe “We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child’s life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made.” Harambe was killed by rifle shots because it was determined rather quickly that tranquilizers would have taken too long to take effect on the Gorilla because of his size.
4) Outrage and Blame
The outrage that erupted after this incident was evident as people all around the internet were quick to blame the mother for the negligence of her child and untimely death of the Gorilla. They also chastised the zoo for choosing to kill the Gorilla instead of using a tranquilizer causing some to picket the zoo as a means of protest.
The internet may be still reeling on the situation that happened only weeks earlier in a zoo in Chile where a man jumped into a lion pen in an attempt to commit suicide resulting in the shooting death of two lions. Link to story here.
In this situation, the man intentionally jumped in the lion’s pen, but even so, the Lions were killed. This was an act of selfishness on the individual who attempted suicide who actually survived the attack, but is in grave condition.
At the end of the day, a human’s life, especially one who is not intentionally trying to end their life, should be put first before an animal or animals. Although it’s sad to take down a beautiful animal, a human life will hold higher distinction. As a parent, I can only imagine what’s going through the parent’s head. They get to hold their son in their arms today because of the quick decision made by zoo officials that saved their child’s life, but I’m sure they feel terrible about the Gorilla being shot. They are happy that the call was made without much, if any, hesitation.
Is the internet outrage warranted? I think the outrage that has stemmed from this shows society’s lack of regard for life. Unfortunately this event isn’t just about the child’s life being considered over the gorilla’s, but it’s about human life being held in higher regard than animals, especially endangered animals. Critics are slamming the mother and attacking her parenting style stating that she should have been watching her child more closely.
Let’s get honest about parenting for a minute. As a mother, I will be the first to admit that sometimes my toddler gets into mischief. He is caught doing things he shouldn’t be doing, climbing things he shouldn’t be climbing and touching things he shouldn’t be touching. I’m sure there are other parents who are judging my parenting style from time to time. I’m not the perfect mother,neither is the mother whose son fell into that enclosure and neither are you!
I think what every parent can agree on is that if our child was the child involved in the Cincinnati Zoo incident that we’d want the Zoo officials to rescue our child. If a beautiful beast has to perish in order to do that, unfortunately we’d ask for that to happen.
One thing we can all certainly take away from the situation is that life is important. Whether you are a human or an animal, your life matters. But, when it comes down to it, a human life will be chosen over an animal’s life.
Watching our children to ensure they’re safe at all times is important, but in an instance like this, Zoo officials were correct in their judgment call to shoot the Gorilla.
Lets stop attacking the mother of this child. For a split second try to envision yourself in her shoes. She watched in horror as her child was aggressively dragged around the mote. She stared in shock wondering if she would ever get to hold her baby again. She wondered if she was going to watch her child die before her eyes and everyone else’eyes as well. If you were her, what would you want to see happen in that moment?
If you said that you would want to see your child rescued, then you have no room to judge this mother.
Let us stop the attack. Let us all agree that we are happy that this child is safe. Let us all also agree that it’s important to always watch our children especially if they are at risk of being hurt. Lets all agree that the death of Harambe was tragic, but also necessary. Let us all agree that life is important.