Let me start this by saying that I love animals. I write this right now with a cat sitting behind me in my chair, another curled up at my feet, turtles in their tank next to me are moving their rocks to build something, and I played fetch with my dog all afternoon. (We got him a tennis ball cannon. It was pretty awesome.)
That being said, I am glad they killed Harambe to save the little boy’s life. That’s right, I am GLAD. I am happy they made the choice to value his life over that of a gorilla, and I am glad that the zookeepers didn’t hesitate to do what was necessary to save him.
And the mom who we hear in the background telling her child that everything will be okay? That she’s right here and for her son not to worry? She made the right decision, too. She didn’t jump into that pit, because she HAS OTHER CHILDREN TO THINK OF. Also, did you see how far down that jump was? There is no way she could have fallen in there without sustaining some sort of injury.
To those of you saying that the gorilla was trying to protect the child– GREAT. That is awesome, but they KNEW when they went in to get that child away from him, it was going to be them versus the gorilla, and if they tried to tranquilize that gorilla? Uh, have you never watched ANYTHING EVER relating to animals getting tranquilized? (Animal experts agree with this, by the way.) It is NOT an instant thing, they are going to rage before they are sedated. What would you have had them do if that had been your child? Risk the rage? I don’t think so, not at all.
Now, let’s talk about this mom. My husband and I have VERY differing opinions on this. He says the mom should be held accountable for the death of a gorilla. I say he is wrong. Why? Because kids slip away, and they slip away fast. The mother has even said “He was just right here. With his hand in my pocket.” I have a daughter who, when she was a toddler, wouldn’t walk more than a foot away from me. She was not a runner, and she was more concerned about being able to see me than I was about being able to see her, but I have been in charge of so many kids as a preschool teacher, a kindergarten teacher, a camp counselor, a scout leader, and I can tell you that not all kids are like this. So, if you are saying that this mom is negligent in some way for turning her back on her kid for a split second, you don’t have any idea what you are talking about.
Edited to Add: So, my husband has been thinking about this some more, and he says he is coming around to my way of thinking. Why? Because he thinks zoos should PLAN for small children to sometimes get away from their parents, and the Cincinnati Zoo was not prepared for this scenario.
Kids are slippery, they disappear in an instant. I still remember the day my mom lost me in the local Kmart because I was playing hide and seek in the clothes racks. At Disneyworld they have a massive plan in place for losing kids. This is a thing that happens to the best of kids, and that is why these plans are in place.
So, no this mom doesn’t deserve to face charges and she isn’t our enemy. SHE IS ONE OF US. She is just a mom trying to take her kids to the zoo, to the park, to the store. We need to celebrate her for trying her best, not bring her down because she made a mistake. BECAUSE WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES. And some of them are much bigger than others. She wasn’t under the influence or anything, she just turned her back for a split second. And that’s okay.
So, let’s celebrate the entire situation. I am not saying we shouldn’t mourn the loss of the gorilla, because it is sad that he’s gone. But we should celebrate the mom who got her child back safely, the zoo personnel that handled the incident without hesitation, and let’s also celebrate the little boy who lives. Because that is an awesome thing.