Recently at a Cincinnati zoo a little 4 year old boy managed to get into the gorilla’s den. What followed next was subject to interpretation. The 400 pound gorilla was viewed as a threat to the boy and was subsequently shot and killed. However, after viewing the video many think that the ape was only trying to “protect” the boy from the other gorillas and that the boy was in no real harm. In one scene, you can see the ape drag the boy through the water rather forcefully. Other than that, it appeared as though the ape (whose name was Harambe) was merely trying to protect the boy from the other gorillas. If you would like to see the video and hear more of the story you can click (or copy and paste into your browser) the link below:
The question that seems to take front stage is “Was it justifiable and necessary to kill the animal?” That would be a difficult question to answer. I will say this much: The animal had been used to a mostly human habitat because it came in contact with humans ever day (whether through the zoo officials or just seeing humans watching them). Because of this, there was less of a chance of the gorilla feeling threatened by a human in his presence. However, having less of a chance doesn’t mean that the opportunity for danger was no longer present. Since the 400 pound gorilla didn’t know the fragile nature of the child there was the possibility that the child could have been killed while the gorilla exhibited “playful” behavior. Gorillas may realize the strength of their own young, but that doesn’t mean they can treat a human child in the same manner. Does anyone remember the movie story of King Kong? In that classic, Kong was taken out of his element and placed in captivity. The end result of that movie was that Kong had to be shot dead to protect others. In this case the gorilla had no more sense of being wrong than the child had for going into the den in the first place. I will say, however, that I think it would have been extremely important for zoo officials to have secured that area so well that even young toddlers would not have been able to gain entry. 4 year olds are not expected to know better. The parents also deserve blame because they should have realized that the child could have entered the gorilla’s den and they should have kept on eye on their kid. The only one here who was really without blame was the “biggest victim,” and that was Harambe the gorilla. Should the animal have been shot? If there was “any” potential danger to the boy, then all precautions needed to be taken to ensure that child’s safety. As unfortunate as the shooting was, if that child had gotten hurt or killed then zoo officials would been blamed for not taking the proper precautions. Unfortunately nothing can bring the gorilla back, but I only hope that a lesson can be learned from this. Exhibits at places like the zoo need to be designed to “keep the animals in” but also “keep the humans out.” I think that is the “best” way to ensure that something like this never happens again. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Facetime: Elton jolly
Stephanie Mills and Brett Jolly