I went to grab some lunch at a nearby restaurant mid afternoon on Monday.  I unfortunately selected a table next to a woman who was telling her companion (at the top of her lungs) how she wanted that mother charged with criminal neglect and arrested.  She went on and on until I wrapped up the back-turkey bravo I was trying to eat and just took it home.  Obviously the woman had never had children.

Kids are fast.  Three year olds are faster than most kids and can give you the slip in a New York second.  Furthermore, we weren’t there.  What we do know is that gorillas are wild animals and they are unpredictable.  That gorilla could have turned on that kid and in an instant, killed him deader than a doornail.

It would be nice to be able to predict what Mr. Gorilla intended or what he really would have done.  Unfortunately, no one can do that. Read:  Wild animal.  Tranquilizer guns don’t act instantly, especially on something the size of that silver-back gorilla.  A bullet was the only way to stop a situation that could have gone tragically bad.

No one wants to think that an animal was killed just for doing what came naturally for him.  On the other hand, where would the outcry be if that little boy had been killed?  Animals and people aren’t on an equal footing.  My dogs are often treated better than the humans in my house.  However, if the situation were somehow a matter of life and death, the people would take precedence  over the animals.  Just is.

No, the mother should not be jailed.  Perhaps she glanced away for a few seconds.  That’s all it takes.  I think most of us are decent enough parents. However, we aren’t omnipresent.  Accidents happen.  Let’s lighten up on the lady.

Thank goodness her boy is safe and well be OK.  Sorry the gorilla had to die.  That was really the only decision that could be made.

6 thoughts on “To kill or not to kill

  1. Pat.Herve

    How did the child get into the Gorilla Pen? Was the child held over the railing and dangled (a la Michael Jackson) or did the child just jump over the fence on his own? I am tired of parents that want others to watch out for the well being of their children while they pay no attention to them.

    Shame that they had to kill the Gorilla, one would think they could have tranqulized him – but the kid is safe now.

    1. I don’t think there are any indications that the child was held over the rail.
      Animal tranquelizers don’t work that quickly. No instant “shoot ’em and drop ’em.” The gorilla could have killed the child while waiting for the tranquilizer to work. The zoo keepers did say the tranquilizer gun would have agitated the animal and made matters worse.

      If I found out that the child was dangled or was running free without parental supervision, I would want the parents charged. I just don’t think there are indicators of parent irresponsibility–yet. Regardless of fault, I think the zoo personnel made the right choice.

  2. Ed

    A little more engineering is needed to keep the little beasties from fraternizing with the zoo inmates.

  3. Watching

    Tragedies happen. Mistakes are made. Enclosures aren’t designed perfectly. Kids get away from parents and get hurt. Kids do stupid things. “Blame is a way to discharge pain and discomfort.” Our society is always looking for someone to blame to make themselves feel better. This was just a tragedy. We can’t avoid them all and it would have been worse if the gorilla killed the boy. Then the gorilla would have been killed anyway. It’s sad but we should all just let it go, stuff happens,

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