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A kid falls in a gorilla enclosure at the zoo, and the gorilla is killed to protect the kid. Without any background or details, Reddit is quick to put the blame where it really belongs, on the parents.

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PRIMATE ZOOKEEPER AND PRIMATE SANCTUARY WORKER HERE
In my absolute most professional opinion, ever single second the gorilla was left in the presence of a child is too long. The Zoo did as we are trained and as we have run in drills (at least at the three facilities I've worked at).
Good points.
I remember my Psychology professor mentioning that you think gorillas and chips are cute until you see them snap a 2x4 in half with one hand
I'm interested in what the protocol is for an event like this. Presumably, they don't just hand out rifles to zoo volunteers, and I'm guessing it takes a shitload of tranquilizers to knock out a gorilla.
So at some point, it seems likely that a judgment call has to be made since zoos don't take the killing of their own animals lightly. Either the guy with the rifle makes the call or there's generally a policy to put the animal down in the event of a likely death, especially if it's a child.
That poor shooter. Honestly, nobody works at a zoo for a chance to shoot gorillas. He/She must feel terrible.
Is anyone surprised that Reddit found a way to make this tragedy about hating moms? No.
Edit: According to the embedded interview with the zoo director, they have a trained response team that handles situations like this, and they opted not to use tranquilizers because they would be too slow and ineffective against a 400 pound gorilla.
This is just a sad situation.
Maybe the parents should have kept an eye on their kids. In the same swath if you've ever been around little kids, especially someplace where they get excited and rambunctious like a zoo or amusement park even well behaved kids can get away quickly. The mom might have been dealing with her other kid(s), turned around for a minute, and this happened.
We really don't know what the parents are like.
It also shouldn't be that easy for the kid to get in there. Those habitats are supposed to be designed to keep the animals in and people out as well as pretty far away.
I don't know if they had to kill the gorilla either. It seemed pretty peaceful but that thing could also kill the kid in an instant.
There are a lot of things that went wrong here in a lot of ways and while it very easily could be the parents fault. Lacking the full details I struggle to place full blame on them or that the kids life was worth less than the gorilla. As much as I hate to see it killed because they are pretty incredible animals and endangered.
One other commenter said that they could have tried tranquilizing the gorilla first with a high dosage to make it act faster while having another rifle aimed at the gorilla just in case. I feel like that was the best the option here but sadly it wasn't taken.
the parent hate in that thread is pretty outrageous but at some point you do have to ask, what went wrong here? with millions of parents and children having gone through the zoo without anyone falling in, something different obviously happened in this case. tough to blame the zoo based on their track record (no previous fallen children) and the kid is just a kid so he obviously didn't understand. that only leaves one party- the parents (the fact that it was most likely the mom and not the dad certainly increases the Reddit hate). let's be honest, it is very difficult to not blame the parents. we don't need to pile on, and we can certainly understand how spontaneous children can be, but at some point someone has to be held responsible I'd say the parents take most of that with the zoo taking the rest.
too bad we're not seeing a lot of nuanced takes in that original thread.
Let's see where he fell in and decide.
Jesus Christ this pure results orientated thinking. The difference was probably that the kid was more tenacious than any kids before and a huge helping of bad luck. The zoo probably should have built the pen so that it was impossible to get in rather than improbable.
These parents will not have been the only ones to briefly lose track of a child in that zoo, what happens after that is out do their control.
Considering that zoos are made with children in mind, kid-proofing them really ought to be an obvious decision.
Indeed. If a four year old can get into your gorilla enclosure unaided then you need to redesign your gorilla enclosure. I don't care how inattentive the kid's parents were that kid should not have been able to do what he did.
Agreed - I've seen in my cities Zoo they have large glass windows between you and the enclosures, then a moat behind that, then the animal's living space. Not for all animals but the large/dangerous ones, yes.
Also a bunch of people edgily suggesting that the kid is a lesser priority than the gorilla because children aren't endangered.
"Overpopulation is the biggest problem the earth has ever faced!!"
I encountered one of those in CMV. To be fair, they weren't being smug, rude or entitled about it. I just found it astounding to see that this comment was the top answer. S/he genuinely believed that the child is worth less the the gorilla, partly because it was endangered. Where do you even begin with that shit...
What do you even call this type of mentality?
While I certainly wouldn't take such an abrupt "let the fuckin' kid die" stance on it, I'll kinda take this opportunity to play Devil's advocate and bring up an interesting philosophical question.
My gut feeling is that the right choice was made. A child was saved. However, I can't articulate why I feel that way at all. I sincerely can't. Is it because I'm biased towards members of my own species? I don't know, but my guess is that it's just an effect of the human society we live in. Of course we're going to empathize with the creature that we know how to communicate with. We can relate to it so much more.
I don't value human life over any other life inherently. Humans are just another species of animal, after all.
So I wouldn't say it's ridiculous to make the argument that the gorilla is more important. It goes into the territory of the philosophy of morality, which many would argue is completely arbitrary and subject only to the conditions one is raised in.
I'm kind of inclined to agree. Obviously you have to save the kid, but in the scheme of things, I think the biodiversity of dwindling gorilla populations is certainly more important.
My honest feeling is probably what many feel - that they ultimately made the right decision to take out the gorilla - given the expectations of the way we now live in society.
But, I hasten to feel that that kid must have been such a recalcitrant little shit and his parents must have known what he was capable of. If I held the decision button, with no consequences, I'd probably keep the gorilla.
I feel a bit bad about the impulsive, inner thoughts at the end, but like many, I think, they are there.
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They're still bitter about mom taking away their Xbox live for a week.
That's what gets me. How often does Reddit like to bitch and moan about how you use to be able to walk 20 miles to the watering hole as a 5 year old?
So I love animals and all and as a resident of Cincinnati love what the zoo does for conservation and education.
But the dumbfucks who seriously want the zoo to stand by and let an 800 pound silverback play rag doll with a four year old because of some social Darwinist bullshit are making my blood boil. The mother was wildly irresponsible and her response on Facebook makes my blood boil as well but Christ if you think a kid deserves to die you're fucked up.
It's unfortunate what happened to Harambe but in the end it is the right choice. Gorillas are unpredictable wild animals that definitely have enough strength to kill any human easily. A tranquilizer would've pissed it off and in the like 15-20 minutes to put it to sleep that gorilla might lose its shit and murder the kid. And male gorillas regularly practice infanticide so it's not like he was automatically going to be a gentle giant.
When you become a parent, especially a mother you become an acceptable target:
Breast feed? Disgusting! Don't leave the house!
Don't Breast feed? You may as well be a Crack addict
Child is loud? You should beat them more!
Child is quiet? You beat them too much!
Too attentive? Smothering
Not attentive enough? Gorilla murderer!
I was lol'ing at this thread yesterday. Someone made the fairly innocuous and obviously true observation that, quote, "Zoos are made for kids" and got met with this response:
like... wow. Redditors are just so damn weird sometimes. What kind of strange echo chamber of oddly-prioritized values do you have to live in to fly off the fucking handle when someone says "Zoos are meant for kids"?
That's hilarious. I'm picturing this guy as someone who gets angry at the Harry Potter world Ollivander bit when they pick a kid over him.
Tale as old as time.
According to reddit, places where there are too many kids/kids are annoying:
Are zoos meant for kids, though? The response was insanely angry, but zoos are for the public, including kids.
The worst thing about this jerk is that it's everywhere. Wherever a news outlet has covered this story, people came crawling out of the woodwork to shit on the parents for being neglectful. I'm not going to comment on the parents' conduct one way or another, but why are people so damn smug? It's like those morons who come out of horror movies proclaiming that they would have survived to the end credits because of this and that—everyone turns into Captain Hindsight the moment something goes wrong.
There were ten different petitions on change.org all about demanding the parents be charged. -_-
I don't really have any opinion on the parents and what they should have been doing. I've watched kids often enough to know that it's a combination of supervision, communication and environment that figures into how much trouble they get into, but there's also the wildcard factor. I've heard kids say stuff that didn't make any sense so while I address it and think it's done, all of a sudden they're doing something dangerous, it clicks in my brain what they wanted, and I've got three seconds to stop them from killing themselves. Especially when they're not in a controlled environment, that kind of attention and anticipation can be difficult.
Should the parents have kept their kid on a shorter leash, figuratively speaking? Yeah, no shit. Hindsight is 20-20; that explains why my parents were so overprotective of me. My mom wouldn't let me outside by myself until after I was in primary school, and didn't let me out of the yard unsupervised until I was about ten years old. Sound kind of like coddling? Maybe, but the thing is, I still managed to almost kill myself a ton of times over all those years, and I really do mean all manner of near-death experiences from drowning to crashing to poisoning to being beaten to death. Was that her fault? Did she not protect me enough? I don't remember a time when she wasn't at my side. She was more than I could ever have asked for. But I lived through a bunch of that stuff because I got lucky, and for precious few other reasons.
This kid got lucky. They got to him in time, and nothing happened. We shouldn't be happy, exactly, but this could have ended a lot worse. Did the parents contribute to this? Sure, you can say that. Was it their fault the kid fell in? I wouldn't go that far. Kids do stupid stuff. I sure did, and I won't blame my parents for the shit I got into when I was too young to know any better. Parents are only human.
Fuck, man. Sometimes bad shit just happens. Nobody's happy about it, but what does pointing fingers solve? "Watch your kids better next time!" Yeah, okay, dude.
Reddit is always quick to figure out what's really going on. Can't hide the truth from their eyes!
Hell yeah! We had the Boston Marathon Bombing hemmed up before those dummy's at the FBI (female body inspector's) knew which way was up.
Once you've declared your allegiance to the almighty STEM, it's really hard to stop dropping knowledge and keeping shit real.
It's funny how all the hate (and there's been so, so much hate) has been directed at the mother, when apparently the father was there too. It's almost as if Reddit hates women or something.
Do you have a source for that? Not that I don't believe it, I want to make a point to someone else who has been quick to blame the mother.
Do you have a source? The witnesses only mention a mother
I used to live in Cincinnati and went to the zoo frequently as a kid. There was no way this child could have gotten into the enclosure unless severe parental neglect was going on.
There are several other commenters in the thread who are also from the area, have been to the zoo, and state that it seemed actually quite easy to get in there. Plus, a woman who witnessed the kid climbing in there who gave an interview and said that she tried to stop him, but it happened very quickly and she only had a split second to grab him before he was out of her reach and fell into the moat.
Okay But how does a child get into a situation like that if they're being watched by their Guardian?
Watch your kids, folks.
It's impossible to keep an eye on your kid 24/7. It literally takes less than ten seconds for them to get in trouble, during which you could be doing something like tying your shoe or paying for some food. Cut the parents some slack.
Reddit dot com. A place full single men that dislike children, but yet know more about raising children than actual parents.
Btw OP be strong 💪.
Everyone knows more about raising children than actual parents. At least, that's been my experience since I became a parent.
It is the responsibility of the parent to educate their child about the dangers of the zoo and animals. Do either they didn't do that, or the child was being willfully disobedient. Either way, it is the responsibility of the parent to make sure your kid doesn't crawl into the bushes and sneak into a gorilla habitat.
BUT would you not expect an enclosure holding a goddamn gorilla to not be so easy to access that a four year could get in?
Also, I'm not saying the mother is blameless, but come on, have you actually spent any time with kids that young? Logical decision making and good behaviour are not guaranteed by strict parenting at that age.
It's an incredibly young child with a mother who was briefly distracted by her other child while they were at a gorilla enclosure that was worryingly easy for a kindergarten kid to get into. No single person or entity is fully to blame here, a bunch of factors lead to this.
Kinda late, but somehow this mentality has leaked all over the place...
Here it is in full force at PetaPixel, check out the comment section:
This really is a catch 22. If they didn't kill the gorilla the child would've died.
You have no way to know that.
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Yeah, that's the typical format.