While the country should have been honoring its fallen soldiers, the 2016 Memorial Day news coverage was all a rage, literally, with the news of a little boy and a gorilla.
For those who may not have heard, over the weekend a family was visiting the Cincinnati Zoo when a 3-year-old boy made his way through surrounding bushes, under some wire and ultimately 15 feet over a wall to a moat that is home to the zoo’s gorilla exhibit. The child apparently told his mother that he wanted to swim with the gorilla before they left. After telling her son that was not an option, the mother turned away for a moment and the child made his dissent.
The approximately 400 pound male gorilla, Harambe, appeared agitated, perhaps by the frightened crowed, and for 10 minutes dragged the boy around the den. The zoo’s dangerous animal team had to make a split-second decision and ultimately shot and killed the gorilla.
Almost immediately, the backlash ensued. Many were outraged at the killing of the endangered gorilla. Some even said it appeared as if Harambe was protecting the child. Although many experts, such as Jack Hanna, who viewed the video of the incident, said that the zoo did the right thing. He said that a tranquilizer dart would not have worked fast enough and perhaps would have further agitated the 17 year old gorilla putting the young child at even greater risk. Others have also pointed out that the way Harambe was whipping the child around, was not indicative of protective behavior.
At the time of writing of this article, the authorities are going to be conducting a criminal investigation into the incident, investigating the family of the 3-year-old.
The outrage by animal rights activists over the killing of the gorilla is not the only controversy. There is also upset over the actions, or lack of action by the mother. Many are criticizing her for the fact that her son got into the gorilla exhibit to begin with.
I saw a small poll where readers were asked to vote on where the fault over the incident lies. They could choose between several options; including mother, zoo, both or accident. And at the time I viewed it, over 40% said it was the mother’s fault. As a parent, who has, momentarily, lost sight of a child, I don’t necessarily think that is fair. Without knowing more facts, it appears that the child made a quick dash out if his mother’s sight as she tended to other children. Something that I bet has happened to a majority of dutiful parents. I voted that it was a terrible accident. I hate that the gorilla had to be killed, but I agree it was the only option.
I thought it would be interesting to see what all of you think. I haven’t read about this controversy from the viewpoint of serious hunting and outdoor enthusiasts, so I’m bringing it up here. What do you think? How would you have voted in the poll above? Please leave your comments below. I want to know what you’re thinking!