I support the decision to kill Harambe
This mom feels that the Cincinnati Zoo acted exactly as it should've because a child could've died.
The recent events around Harambe, the gorilla who was shot
at the Cincinnati Zoo, are tragic. When a 4-year-old boy fell into the
enclosure last week Saturday, a 17-year-old male gorilla by the name of Harambe
decided to take possession of the child. After 10 minutes of trying to coax the
gorilla inside, he was shot and killed, in order to gain access to the boy. The
social media backlash since the animal’s shooting has been extremely scathing.
Read more: Whose life is more important – kid or gorilla?
Many animal rights activists are criticising zoo officials for shooting the gorilla, instead of darting him. Parenting groups have called for a
re-evaluation of events and are demanding that the parents of the child be
charged for negligence. People seem polarised, while some believe that this was
gross mismanagement of the situation, others feel that the life of the child
was paramount. In a world where everybody can publish their opinions, it seems
that the Cincinnati Zoo would have been damned if they had, and damned if they
But what if the child had died? What if, like so many suggest, zoo management
has simply watched and waited, hoping that Harambe would adopt a “nurturing”
instinct towards the boy and then taken it from there? And what if the
screaming of the crowd had agitated and confused the poor animal even more, and
he had inadvertently killed or permanently harmed the boy? What would the world
be saying if, instead of a dead gorilla, the story had ended with the death of
a 4-year-old boy?
Read more: Readers respond to Cincinnati Zoo's killing of endangered gorilla
I suspect that people would be talking about what a terrible tragedy this was.
Nobody would blame the gorilla, and a family would be left with the void of
loss and sorrow, regret and guilt for the rest of their lives. As a mother of 5
small children, and a world of experience with a rambunctious 4-year-old boy, I
can state without a doubt, that kids run off and do stupid things. And that
they do it so fast, that even the most attentive parent cannot always stop
them. Secondly, although I am not a zoologist or animal behaviourist, I know
that real animals in real life, are not like the animals in Disney movies. As
much as we know about them, we cannot predict what they will do in stressed
situations, and particularly not a sensitive and intelligent ape, who became
visibly unnerved by the sudden shouting and screaming of the crowd.
Why didn’t they dart him? Simply put, a massive
animal like that would not just slump to the ground, mere seconds after the
dart entered its body (life is not, I repeat, NOT a Disney movie). He may have
spent several minutes confused and disoriented, and possibly gotten aggressive.
It is a great tragedy that this magnificent animal had to die. I do not
advocate the unnecessary killing of animals at all, and certainly not critically
endangered ones! But as a parent, I stand by the decision made by zoo
officials, and I am grateful that the story didn't go the other way.
How do you feel about this situation? Was the zoo right to kill Harambe? Send us a letter to email@example.com and we could publish it.