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Stop Hating On The Mom Of The Boy Who Fell In The Gorilla Cage

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.

harambe the gorilla

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.


Monday 30th of January 2017

I am an architect, and I have designed, and am currently designing, exterior animal exhibits. It is a challenge to provide unfettered undistracting views of an animal's habitat while maintaining AZA standards for keeping visitors and animals separate. However human safety trumps all, and while I am not familiar with this exhibit I cannot fathom how a toddler could so casually bail into this enclosure within seconds. My first thoughts were that this was faulty exhibit design, NOT poor parenting. I've raised 4 highly energetic kids and am well aware of the shenanigans a young one can get into within a matter of seconds.


Wednesday 8th of June 2016

I have to disagree with this. I think the mom should be at fault. I have a 4year old myself and i always am keeping an eye on my child. When she does something wrong or harmful, I take full responsibility for my child. The least the mom could of done was simply state that she could have watched her child better. When I take my child anywhere, im either holding her hand or holding her. From many stories I've read, I do not believe there is a single story out there that is true. I don't care who you are...anybody can make up anything or state their opinions based on how they feel about the situation. I don't believe the gorilla should have been killed as from many ancestors of the gorillas species, their nature is to protect. I honestly think the gorilla was confused. With the screaming from the audience, people, children workers,etc. The gorilla didn't know what to think. You are not the gorilla so you can not say what he was gonna do or how he was feeling. Many sources are true and many are not. Nobody knows. Just like in some sources I've read the mother has been convicted of mamy charges of larceny, drug charges and felonys. Do I think they are true...who knows. If it's the zoos fault..okay but i still think the mother should own up and be a take full responsibility for your child once they came out of your womb until they are an adult. Your responsibility to teach them right and wrong. I would have never posted my opinions about this situation on the internet because there is no true story.


Thursday 2nd of June 2016

That witch is not one of us. I watched my kids and raised 3 to adults and that fell in moat at zoo. Maybe she is like you!!!!!


Thursday 2nd of June 2016

Wow. I feel like you need a hug. Are you okay with all that anger?

Cindy Magee

Wednesday 1st of June 2016

I love this article. I'm a mom and can't imagine what all really transpired that caused this incident to occur. I can't imagine judging a situation where only the people actually there know all the details of what happened. I'm not a perfect person and by no means a perfect mother. I am humbled by the Bible verse that says "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" I'm so glad my life and accidents or mistakes or choices have never been scrutinized by millions of people on social media!!!


Tuesday 31st of May 2016

I went to the zoo with my daughter last week where there were over 4000 kids! No body fell in any cages and no animals were If it where in fact only a split second of having her back turned she would have had PLENTY of time to grab the boy before he got too far. When I go anywhere I have my daughter's hand in my hand not in my pocket. It's just common sense. She is at fault and she should be held responsible. Hell she was probably talking on her phone and wasn't anywhere near her kid.


Wednesday 1st of June 2016

I agree completely. I am an older parent, my kids are grown 32, 22 and my youngest is 16. In all the times (too many to count) I went out with my children to zoos and other venues, never did I lose sight of one of them or the other children who were with us. This mom is completely at fault and should be charged. People no longer take responsibility.