Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Gorilla vs Child

In the case of Harambe the gorilla who was recently killed at the Cincinnati Zoo, yes...I am sad that he had to die but I am also a little alarmed that people put an animal's life above the safety of a child. I am also saddened at what a judgmental world we have become to brand the child's mother "neglectful" and a "bad parent" even when eye witness accounts say the mother had her son right with her and was warning him away from the fence just seconds before he slipped through. Yes, I am alarmed and saddened but not surprised.

In our current world where the internet shows us a myriad of pictures and videos of animals "acting" like humans and those watching obviously believing they have a human side, it somehow makes sense that people would be much more willing to fight for animal rights than they are for human rights. It's kind of ridiculously sad if you think about it. I guess because of this, no one should be surprised at the out cry in defense of a 400 lb. gorilla who likely would have killed this child had the zoo not intervened as it did.

The fact is, gorillas, bears, lions, etc are WILD animals. Even when "trained" or "domesticated" there is no guarantee that these animals won't get startled or revert to their most basic animal instincts....regardless of how many cute animal videos you watch on the internet. When that happens it is human vs. beast and the human is not likely to win that battle.

The internet is in full out cry and lynch mob mode that those in charge at the Cincinnati Zoo made the call to kill the animal, even though they explained their protocol and they are the experts on the situation. However, it does not keep Joe Public from sitting behind his computer saying "Awww poor innocent gorilla. He was just taking care of the boy." I saw the video and Harambe was most definitely NOT taking care of the boy. He was dominating the boy. You didn't have to be trained in animal behavior to see that.

Sadly, the likelihood that any of these indignant people have ever been closer to a gorilla than reinforced plexiglass or zoo cages is slim to none. They have never worked with these animals and don't know their true personalities or what the likely outcome would be of such a tragic incident. It's easy to be an armchair zookeeper when your screen saver is a grizzly saying "I haza cheezburger?" However, if you listen to the "real" experts, the people who work with these animals and know their temperament, they all say the same thing. The zoo acted responsibly. Harambe under the best situation...meaning people not excitedly screaming like crazy....would likely have ended up hurting or more likely, killing the boy. It might have been unintentional, but a 30 lb child being drug through the water is no match for a 400 lb gorilla. Add in the screaming people and that poor gorilla was likely very agitated. He was in protect mode and he was standing his ground. That little boy meant nothing to him.

One expert said that yes, they could have tranquilized him, but before he went down he would have gotten crazy as they don't go down immediately. Since the boy was between his legs, he would likely have been severely injured if not killed before Harambe actually became tranquilized. The zoo and all those who knew what they were doing, acted appropriately. They put the boys life first and that is as it should have been. The out come was sad, but would have been much sadder if the boy had been killed right there in front of everyone.

As for the armchair quarter backing of the mom...... So all you parents who have raised your kids without even one near miss, raise your hand. If you are honest.....there are no hands raised. The fact is, if you are a parent.....you have lost your kid, dropped your kid, forgot your kid or watched your kid get hurt at least once and probably more times than you would like to admit. It doesn't make you a bad neglectful parent. It simply makes you a parent. You can't protect their every move. It is simply not possible. Believe me...I have tried....and failed!

All eye witness accounts say that the zoo was busy and that the mom was being attentive to her child. The little boy said he wanted in with the gorillas and she had told him no! This is not unusual, as kids want to be most places they are not suppose to be. They also have no fear of anything. That gorilla to him was a big cuddly stuffed thing he wanted to play with. Perhaps his parents had shown him videos of a gorilla cuddling a puppy. Yes....that was sarcasm. At any rate, it was at that moment.....his mission became  to play with that gorilla. And any parent knows when a toddler is on a mission, they are slippery, sneaky and very quick. It's what toddlers do! The mother turned her back for one moment to take a picture and that is all it took. The boy was gone. It has happened to all of us and yet you would think this was a singular case. The rest of us are just lucky our kids didn't try to crawl in with a lion or a bear.

So what are we now doing? Are we trying to set up a precedence that if a toddler does what they do best, that the parent faces charges? Looks like a lot of us will be doing time then. Yes, because that is what our legal system needs. More bogus cases clogging up the system and costing the tax payers money.

Bottom line is that people are being ridiculous. This was an accident plain and simple. Remember those? Where something unfortunate and unplanned happens but it really isn't anyone's fault. Perhaps some of you die-hard people out there who think the lady wasn't being a good parent, would like to have seen her have a leash on her kid. Oh, but no.....then you would have had a whole other reason to criticize her parenting skills.

I do find it sad that Harambe had to die, but I applaud the zoo for acting so quickly and for those who knew what they were doing, jumping into action and saving the child. I also feel a great deal of empathy for the mother who I have no doubt felt plenty of guilt already for her son breaking free and that was long before the opinions of America chimed in making it worse. I am sure it is a scare she will never forget and a situation she will never allow again. So lets save our parental rage for the parents who starve and physically and sexually abuse their kids. Just a thought.

Please people.....get over your mob mentality and get off your judgmental high horse. But for the grace of God that could have been any one of us parents...... and every last parent out there knows it. Lets just hope that a lesson was learned by all and maybe perhaps more zoo's might think about toddler proofing themselves just a little bit better. 

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