Am I pissed? Yes! A 17-year-old western lowland gorilla named Harambe is shot at the Cincinnati Zoo because a 3-year-old child manages to scale an enclosure and fall into a moat.
Let me make it clear right out of the gate, I have no love for zoos and anyone who parts with their money to go to them. On my bad days thinking about zoos I consider what it would be like to take human families, split them up from each other and display them behind bars for weeks on end. On my good days I envision the only reason for such contact with wild animals will be for conservation, preserving their natural habitat and/or rehabilitation post injury. Nothing more.
There is no doubt it was an agonizing decision to make by the response team but what could they do? They can’t let a human child be severely injured or die. Shooting a living, breathing, thinking, feeling being to save another is never easy to do. It is tragic that they had to shoot the very animal they bred to protect.
The parent of the child thanked God and those who saved her son. Let me tell you lady, God had nothing to do with it! While I’m at it let me offer some advice to parents who want to take their children to the zoo: Put your children in a harness. Strap them in their chairs or whatever it takes to keep them close. Better yet, don’t take them at all.
It is high time we learn to keep those animals safe from small children or suicidal adults because the human species is highly unpredictable and is known to act aggressively. Humans put other species at risk.
I am very passionate about animal welfare. My strong feelings about it over-ride any sense I have about protecting clients or colleagues from my opinions on such matters. This my blog and my rant, take it or leave it.