Yep, I’m saying it. I don’t care how poorly supervised the four-year-old who fell into Harambe’s enclosure was. I wouldn’t even care if they had been in the carpark smoking a doobie when the incident occurred.
The fact is, a zoo enclosure housing a potentially very dangerous animal should not be able to be penetrated by a bloody four year old.
You can watch the horrifying moment below. Post continues after video…
Don’t know what I’m talking about? In case you’ve been living under a rock, a four year old boy climbed into the enclosure of a Western Lowland Silverback Gorilla named Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo on Saturday. Zookeepers were forced to make the decision to use lethal force to rescue the little boy, shooting and killing Harambe.
They were not able to use a tranquiliser dart to subdue the 181kg animal, as he was agitated and it would have taken some time to take effect. They could not risk enraging the Gorilla further, as it was a life and death situation for the boy.
Of course, the incident has a lot of people fired up. People have signed a petition calling for the parents of the boy, who were reportedly looking after several other children too, to be brought to justice over the death of Harambe.
Now, as sad as it is that this beautiful animal had to be killed, I don’t understand how anyone in their right mind can think it’s entirely the parents’ fault. Yes, they should have been supervising their child. But children are quick, and when you’re looking after a handful of them it can take only moments for one to get into trouble.
It makes me wonder how many of these keyboard vigilantes have ever actually seen a four year old. They’re not very big. If a zoo enclosure is well designed, there should be no way a tiny little child is able to climb in, especially where such an enormous, strong animal is involved.
I think that the blame lies squarely with the zoo on this one, and I hope that the family takes legal action for the pain and distress caused by this incident.
I hope the little boy is healing well, and I hope that the family aren’t reading any of the dreadful things being written about them by everyone who are suddenly experts in parenting, ethics, and animal behaviour.
*Feature image via Facebook/cincinnatizoo.