The shooting of a silver-back gorilla called Harambe has set off a chain reaction of complaints and outrage against the zoo and the parents.
There have been thousands of complaints and outpourings of upset from criticism to rage and even threats from animal rights activists and campaigners against the zoos actions to shoot the animal dead along with its imprisonment and capture of wild animals for the pleasure of visitors.
Firstly the silver-back gorilla known as Harambe is an awesome and majestic beautiful creature that should be free to roam the wild in its natural environment.
Keeping wild animals in zoos or in closed artificial spaces for the sole purpose of financial gain and human entertainment or enjoyment is often frowned upon by many activists who are against this even though the zoo has carefully replicated the environment of the animals natural habitat and provided it with safety, protection and stimulation including wholesome food they probably wouldn’t have in the wild.
There are several sides to this argument that are raging such as should animals be kept in zoos?
The zoos also do a lot of good work, there is no disputing that this animal was well looked after the same as the others are. They are safe, protected from poachers or natural predators, their stress levels are lower than they would be in the wild and that they are generally happy and content animals.
The zoo also does a lot of other good work to save and protect animals from other ghastly environments which otherwise would have led to their early deaths in a cruel or suffering manner.
The question being asked now is, should the zoo have shot this gorilla?
Whether the animal should be in a zoo or not is another argument altogether. Unfortunately common sense must prevail because in the food chain or within the line of hierarchy, the child who fell into the enclosure ranks higher in importance than the gorilla. Again, many animal rights activists may disagree with that.
Irrespective of how this incident happened and how the child fell into the enclosure the animal had to be stopped from holding or manhandling the child any further.
Some are arguing the gorilla should have been tranquillised but the authorities are saying this has its downside and it would not have stopped the gorilla instantly the same has a bullet would.
If the gorilla had been tranquillised and the tranquilliser sedated the animal instantaneously then it would have all been okay.
There are many sides to gorillas depending where they are. At the time the child fell into the enclosure the gorilla could be in a territorial state, experiencing a sense of threat, it could be at their mating season, it could be in a playful or boisterous mode, it could be in attack mode or it could be in a loving, protective or nurturing paternal or maternal mode, who knows?
No one can predict in the heat of the moment what state of instinct or mind the gorilla is or was in at that time.
No animal irrespective of how gentle they can be can ever be trusted with a child the same as no child should ever be left alone with a dog in a domestic home situation.
Watching gorilla’s handling their own infants can be heavily, playful and boisterous and it can also be very tender and gentle, gorillas can never be trusted as to what they may or will do, it is in the animals nature to sling and throw is prize or prey around as it likes.
Let’s say the gorilla at that precise moment when the child entered the enclosure was feeling aggressive, territorial or in some form of attack mode which may be in the result of previous altercations with other resident gorillas, then the scenario could have been far worse.
What would have happened if the gorilla had torn the child apart, ripped off a limb or worse which it is quite capable of doing with its awesome physical strength, then the outcry from members of the public would have been worse and the zoo could have been shut down for not taking immediate protective action against what would have been seen as an act of total unprepared delay.
They actually were prepared and acted fast on their training!
If they shot it with the tranquilliser, that tranquilliser could have angered the gorilla and he could have gone into a crazy flipped out state because that’s what gorillas do, they often display crazy explosive aggressive and angry outbursts which are similar to playful physical outbursts and so the argument continues, either way it was a very bad situation.
Tranquillising the gorilla would have took time to work and even a few seconds delay could of resulted in the choking or suffocation of the child and so on.
Under the circumstances most would agree that the zoo did the right thing in a bad wrong situation, they were pre-trained and prepared and shot the gorilla fast. The child has to come first!
They have all sorts of obligations including legal obligations in place and they acted upon it swiftly.
This situation is open to damning criticism on all levels but there are two areas of great concern that reflect on other zoos all around the world.
The first criticism possibly could be directed to the parents on why they didn’t stop or control the child from climbing over a 3 foot barrier.
As any parent knows, children can be very sly and fast on their feet and within a blink of an eye they can scale fences or run across road and be gone and so on. Most parents know how fast children can move especially when a child sees what it wants.
Because the zoo offers and invites people towards the experience of visually viewing close up such awesome animals then for this reason they are at fault for having such a weak protective structure or barrier which was easily breached by even a small child.
Because the zoo and the nature of its business are to bring in members of the public then their level of protection and safety must be higher than it currently is.
Under no circumstances should there be any weaknesses or vulnerabilities in the surrounding fences or barriers which would allow any one in to the animal enclosure for any reason.
The criticism has to lie with the zoo for not having an impenetrable barrier or fence.
For whatever reason the zoo is there and for whatever reason wild animals have been brought in to it, the barrier and the fence has to be faultless where nobody can climb in, through over or under it.
For a small tiny child to scale a 3 foot fence railing and enter into the enclosure and then drop into the water is unforgivable.
You can bet now this will never happen again and that the zoo will develop impenetrable barriers and fences which reflect the inadequacy that currently exists and shows that it could have been done.
You can also bet that other zoos around the world are now updating their own levels of security. There probably isn’t a single zoo anywhere in the Western world that isn’t checking its barriers and fences to see if anyone, let alone a child can enter the enclosure of a wild animal if they wanted to.
Hopefully the gorilla’s death was instantaneous and that the gorilla knew and felt nothing.
But here’s the sad part of this unfortunate event. Irrespective of what anyone believes, this child will be psychologically affected by this event for the rest of their life.
There’s a very high chance that this child may develop issues relating to anxiety, anticipation and apprehension throughout their adult life and all because the construction of the fence/barrier was weak.
First and foremost all criticism has to be directed at the construction of the fence/barrier.
Allowing families and children to stand in front of ferocious wild animals with a weak or flimsy barrier between them is the first port of call to address and not the actual shooting of the animal. Under the circumstances this unfortunate killing had to be done!
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