Did Cincinnati Zoo really have to kill a rare gorilla? – Madison Park, Emanuella Grinberg, and Tiffany Ap, CNN

Predictably, Internet busybodies are looking for someone to blame here.

The busybodies say the zookeepers should have held their fire or used tranquilizer darts, busybodies say. Seriously? Would you gamble your child’s life on that?

The busybodies say the parents shouldn’t have let their kids wander into the gorilla cage, the busybodies say. But in reality, kids do stuff. You take your eyes off them a second and they get into trouble.

And then there’s this guy on Twitter who is auditioning for a role as a serial killer on a CSI spinoff:

This is a relatively happy ending to what could have been a tragedy.

4 thoughts on “Gorilla shooting

  1. coyoty

    The gorilla had to die. In the video, he was treating the boy too roughly to expect a safe outcome. Tranquilizers could have enraged him or resulted in his falling on the boy.

    The gorilla did not have to die. If the zoo had verified the barriers were secure, the boy wouldn’t have been able to slip under. The zoo is irresponsibly responsible for the gorilla’s death and endangering visitors.

    The mother was negligent. Everyone knows four-year-olds are unpredictable, and can predictably get into trouble at any opportunity. In a crowded venue like a zoo, he could easily get lost if she doesn’t have him on a leash at all times. If she had him on a leash, he wouldn’t have dropped down into the enclosure.

    The mother wasn’t negligent. Everyone knows four-year-olds are unpredictable, and she can’t be expected to predict everything he would do. The zoo markets itself as a safe, kid-friendly environment, and she had the expectation that her son would be safe from the animals, including being prevented from getting near them. There should have been no need for a leash on him.

    I think the zoo wins at losing.

    1. Lindzee

      I disagree. Just for the fact that kids that age are unpredictable is all the more reason to keep a close watch on them, especially in a crowded public place. The boy was complaining to his mom about wanting to go down there with the gorillas before it happened, and other onlookers heard it as well. Just for the fact that he was being disobediant alone should have been a clear indication that the situation was up to no good. What if they had been at a beach and he had fallen into water 10 feet over his head? I do not believe that it is a matter of negligence, but just plain ignorance to the fact that she should have removed him from the area before he even had a chance to get inside there. An incident like that had never occured there before in all the years it has been open. I hope that a major lesson was learned here.

      1. Mitch Wagner Post author

        Can’t watch your kid every minute.

        Can’t go 18 years without making a potentially fatal mistake with your kids.

        1. coyoty

          Maybe you shouldn’t be able to. Surviving close calls impresses wisdom upon both the survivor and the guardian, and builds self-confidence. The kid realizes his mortality and becomes more careful, but feels wonder and power and better able to handle risky situations. It’s something he can tell his friends and improve social interactions. The guardian becomes more vigilant, but more trusting that the kid is not that physically or mentally fragile, and gives him more breathing room.

          If you can watch your kid every minute and not make any potentially fatal mistakes, the kid doesn’t grow up or learn anything, including how to live on his own, and you have to watch him every minute indefinitely and you’ll want to kill him yourself.


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