Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Death of Harambe

Everybody is talking about the gorilla story.

There's outrage aplenty. Of course.

Blame the parents for failing to adequately supervise their 4-year-old.

Blame the Cincinnati Zoo for having inadequate safety measures to prevent a person from tumbling into the gorilla's enclosure.

Blame the Cincinnati Police Department.

Blame the notion of zoos in the first place.

From Reuters:

The killing of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo after a 4-year-old boy tumbled into the ape's enclosure triggered outrage and questions about safety, but zoo officials called the decision to use lethal force a tough but necessary choice.

More than 2,000 people signed a petition on that sharply criticized the Cincinnati Police Department and the zoo for putting down the animal and called for the child's parents to be "held accountable for their actions of not supervising their child."

...A Facebook page titled "Justice for Harambe" had more than 3,000 likes by Sunday afternoon, a day after the 400-pound (181-kg) gorilla was shot dead about 10 minutes after encountering and dragging the child. The animal, named Harambe, was a Western lowland gorilla, an endangered species, and the zoo said it had intended to use him for breeding.

"If we think it's acceptable to kill a gorilla who has done nothing wrong, I don't think our city should have gorillas," Manvinder Singh posted on the Facebook page.

...Witnesses told local television that the boy repeatedly expressed a desire to join the gorilla in the zoo habitat. Moments later, the boy crawled through a barrier and fell about 12 feet (3.7-meters) into a moat surrounding the habitat, where Harambe grabbed him, zoo officials said.
Thankfully, the little boy survived.

Sadly, the gorilla had to be put down. It was the right decision. One couldn't assume Harambe wouldn't harm the child.

Should the parents have done a better job supervising their child? Yes, but it also shouldn't be easy to get through barriers meant to separate people from the animals.

This was an unfortunate incident, but it's not the end of the world.

How many people were shot dead in American cities over the weekend?

A lot more than one.

No comments: