By now everyone has seen the video; a 3 year old boy falls into a shallow moat at the Cincinnati zoo where a 400 pound gorilla named Harambe resides. The gorilla at first treats the boy gently it seems but then, no doubt spooked by the cries of the onlookers, takes the boy by the foot and drags him in the water to another area. Luckily, the zoo officials were notified and they did the only thing sensible, they shot the gorilla to save a human life.
Incredibly, instead of praising the zoo for the quick action some people were against the shooting. Twitter was all over the place with this one. A lot of Monday morning quarterbacking in my opinion. Had the zoo decided to use a tranquilizer it could have enraged the gorilla and would have taken too long to act, endangering the boy in the process.
Of course, it was an accident. Some people were blaming the mother for letting the child out of her reach. Please, let us give her the benefit of the doubt here. A 3 year old can be quite a handful and no doubt he was very quick to escape detection. Other people in the area saw the boy and tried to stop him but were too late. One witness said it all happened too quickly.
I still think that the larger issue here is whether we really need to have zoos. But at least gorillas are on the endangered species list. Perhaps we should have less zoos and put more money directly in countries who suffer from bandits who kill animals for their tusks as elephants or kill wild animals for its meat. I think that it is time to re-evaluate if a life in a zoo for a wild animal is proper, and maybe if a zoo is more for our entertainment than anything else. A wild animal should be found in the wild, and if you want to see one, take a trip or be content with viewing nature documentaries. We can’t have it all.