So, I figured it would be best to start off with a disclaimer since I know that animal activists are most likely going to have a field day with this article. Before I say anything about this topic, I want everyone to know that I adore animals and 100 percent believe in animal rights. If I could bring home every stray dog and cat, I definitely would. And if I could end animal cruelty today, I'd do anything in my power to do so. That being said, I'm thinking of this issue in a very realistic way and attempting to understand it from every angle.
The news and social media have blown up since the incident at the Cincinnati Zoo involving a gorilla, Harambe, and a young boy. Of course, animal activists everywhere have taken action to express their detest and disapproval of ending the life of the gorilla. I can understand the zoo's decision as well as the anger from citizens. But, it's important that we understand that a little boy's life was in danger.
Here's the thing, while that child should have never been left alone long enough to find himself in a gorilla pen, he was still alone in a gorilla pen with a gorilla. (I mean, if it was my child, I probably would have jumped in after him instead of shouting "mommy loves you" safely from behind a fence).
Obviously, this was not Harambe's fault, and it's incredibly sad that his life paid the price for parental neglect. However, he was dragging the young boy underwater and playing with him as if he was a toy. Eventually, that little boy would have drowned or been killed by the impact. The zoo didn't have a choice. If your child was a gorilla's play toy and his or her life was in danger, I'm sure you wouldn't have a problem with the decision the zoo made. A tranquilizer would have taken too long, and it may have been too late for the child.
What were the trainers and zookeepers supposed to do? Wait and see if Harambe eventually got bored? Were they supposed to assume that the gorilla knew its own strength and its potential ability to kill the little boy? No. The videos clearly show that the gorilla was handling the little boy veraciously. The zoo was not going to let a child die on their watch. And as a human being, I wouldn't want them to, either.
I truly do hate that an innocent animal's life paid the ultimate price. It's sad and unfair. The zoo and the mother are responsible for allowing that child to find himself in that compromising position. He shouldn't have been able to fall into that pen or left alone in order to do so. But, it's important that we understand the fact that it was a matter of life or death for that child.
I hope that nothing like this happens again in a place that brings animals and humans together. I also hope that animal activists don't find this article offensive. I mean no malice from these words and truly believe animal lives matter as much as our own.
But at the end of the day, if my child was being dragged under the water by a gorilla, I wouldn't hesitate to save his or her life. It's as simple as that.