Who's To Blame For The Cincinnati Zoo Incident?
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Politics and Activism

Who's To Blame For The Cincinnati Zoo Incident?

Enough of the accusations. Enough of the petitions.

Who's To Blame For The Cincinnati Zoo Incident?
Cincinnati Zoo

This is Harambe. Harambe tragically died at the Cincinnati Zoo during a horrible incident.

What happened was that a four year old boy, without the surveillance of his parents, snuck through the barriers of an enclosed pen containing Harambe, a silverback gorilla.

To cut off suspense, the child's alive and Harambe is not.

There's a video online of the incident as it's happening, and most versions of it have cut out the violent parts, namely the gorilla dragging the boy through the water in the exhibit. The zoo attempted to clear the crowds and had to ultimately make a decision once they entered the pen. The zoo chose to kill Harambe rather than tranquilize him, in hopes of securing the child's safe escape.

The boy is fine, and got away with only minor injuries... .. But with all incidents, incredible controversy arose from it.

There is a large spark of outrage coming from an abundance of people who are pointing fingers are multiple different groups and people involved. A petition was even made to force Child Services to investigate the children's parent's background.

The grand issue of this is that people are all looking for someone to blame, and it seems like nobody is distributing individual blame to the places it needs to go. No one person is responsible, and people need to be careful as to not turn this into a needless witch hunt.


1. People are mad at the Cincinnati Zoo for not having a structured enough barrier that could have prevented this 4-year old from even wandering in.

Who's to blame?

The zoo. Not to say that the zoo needs to be shut down, sued, and knocked off the face of the earth. No. They just need to figure out how the boy got into the exhibit, fix it, and apply that to the rest of their exhibits so it doesn't happen again to any other animal or child.


2. People are furious at the parents for their "negligence" and "poor parenting", since their kid was able to accomplish all of this seemingly without their notice.

Who's to blame?

In my opinion, not the parents.

People are claiming that the parent's negligence directly led to the situation unfolding. Yes, the kid slipped away without their notice, but that happens all the time with almost every parent. It's a simple manner of children's behavior and completely average parenting.

I'm sure an abundance of people can relate to being lost in a grocery store as a kid. Parents turn away for a second, and kids get lost.

It happens. It happens everywhere. Only this time, a gorilla died, which, in the eyes of the kid that climbed in, was a complete coincidence.

In my opinion, I naturally assume a portion of the people who sign the petition against the parents have never dealt with children, or have had very few experiences with children in general.

Children are fast. Children are sneaky. Four year olds especially, in those years.

People wonder how the parents failed to notice their child climbing into the exhibit. There were bushes that blocked the way he got in. All he had to do was slip into the bushes and he's instantly out of sight. That's all it took, was that distance between his parents and the barrier. We don't know that exact distance, but I can only assume it wasn't far since his parents are present in the video that was captured.

If those parents knew the child could physically access the exhibit, I can only assume they wouldn't have even bothered bringing him to the zoo in the first place. Parents temporarily lose their kids all of the time, especially in crowded places like zoos.


3. Animal experts are butting heads right now over the gorillas behavior and whether or not the child was in true danger or not.

Who's right?

People are saying that the gorilla was defending the child. Animal experts have come forward and stated that the gorilla, based on species, biological traits, and personal character, wouldn't have harmed the child.

Other experts are stating the complete opposite, that the gorilla's positioning over the child was NOT an act of protection.

The fact of the matter is, the gorilla dragged the boy through the water, imposing an immediate threat on the child's life.

Regardless of what expert's say, violence was displayed at the actual scene. The gorilla had harmed the child, and because it is in fact a 400lb animal, it has all the potential to kill the child.

The issue with this argument is that neither of the sides the experts represent really matter. A lot of people hate hearing it, but it has to be said. Harambe was a wild animal. The situation was unpredictable. An animal's mood can shift incredibly fast, and there's no possible way Harambe could be read in time. A decision had to be made, and in my opinion, I think they made the right one.


4. People are furious at the zoo for also making the decision to kill the gorilla over attempting to tranquilize it and save both the child and the gorilla's lives.

Who's to blame?

Again, the zoo made the right decision.

The situation is unpredictable, and frankly, too much a gamble to use a tranquilizer.

The child's life was on the line, and the gorilla had an abundance of reasons to become agitated if it were to be so. There are people pointing guns at it. There's a weird foreign creature that fell into its home. There are people screaming everywhere. The gorilla could have gone off and killed the child.

Now, imagine how agitated the gorilla could have become after being shot by a tranquilizer dart. For some animals, a tranquilizer may not even take full effect to four to five minutes. That's possibly four to five minutes of Harambe being agitated and angered.

There should be no discussion. It would have been gambling the child's life. As long as Harambe stood over the child, he was threatening its life.


5. People are mad at the parents for threatening to sue the zoo. A petition was even created to force the parents to take the hit for whatever the result of the lawsuit should be.

Who's to blame?

As of right now, most of the blame seems to be going towards the parents of the child, since a petition has been made to hold them strictly responsible for all the events unfolding.

My opinion is that this petition is jumping many sharks without having all of the information or proper considerations in mind. My defense for the parents above still stands.

On the note of the petition being made against Michelle Gregg, the child's mother, it mentions that Gregg is planning on suing the zoo.

Name your source.

The decision to sue the zoo hasn't been implied by Gregg yet, not even at all. Until further information is given, the notion that Gregg intends to sue is an idea entirely fabricated by the creator of this petition.

Gregg even praised the zoo for making the decision they made to save her son in a previous status on Facebook, which was taken down due to negative backlash.

(This article was written on the 31st. Events on the topic will update, so by the time this article actually comes out, it may be outdated in terms of news.)

People are even demanding for the parent's background searches. The people signing the petition condoning this are also hoping to get Child Services involved. In my opinion, this a drastic reaction to a situation many people aren’t willing to truly look into.

Nobody's really to blame on this one. Although, the mass of people demanding to put away these two parents just need to stop what they're doing.


A lot of people seem to forget what the other outcome is. With how enraged a lot of people are on this issue, is almost seems as if some people would have been more content with the child's life being at risk had the zoo not made the decision they made.

If they used a tranquilizer, there would have been a chance that the gorilla would have harmed the child, very possibly killed him.

If they tranquilized the gorilla, and the gorilla had killed the 4 year old boy, everyone would be up in arms at the zoo for not doing everything they could of done to save the child. We are living in that universe where they did do everything they could. Because of that, the child's alive.

All in all...

If you really cared about the child, you'd do your research and not try and blindly toss him into the system by attempting to get Child Services involved in a situation they're not needed in.

If you really cared about the gorilla, try looking into what's making them extinct in the first place.

If you just wanna get angry and punish someone in a situation you don't care to know all of the details about, then stop.

If you want to use your anger productively, seriously look into what's making those silverback's extinct.


In conclusion, zoo needs better barriers. Parents made a common mistake. It's tragic that the gorilla died, but he had to in order to ensure the child's 100% chance at survival.











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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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