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How do you guys feel about that gorilla thing?

ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its

I've seen hundreds of crazy opinions - most are clearly ignorant.

My totally uneducated, ignorant opinion is that while perhaps the parent could have kept closer track of his/her child, killing the gorilla was the right thing to do. IDGAF if it appeared he was protecting the kid or if he baked the kid a cake and sang to him. There was a very clear potential danger to the child and people > animals.

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scrunchythief
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Re: How do you guys feel about that gorilla thing?

  • 6fsn6fsn member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    I wasn't there I have no real opinion. A random stranger at the Memorial Day parade asked me about and I said the same thing, but she kept going on and on about it. It's all around a terrible incident.  
    VarunaTT
  • I've got a friend who is an exotic animal vet..  I agree with his assessment of the situation in that they followed exact protocols and taking the shot was the proper thing to do...  He has worked with the species and tranquilizing it was NOT a viable option because the Gorilla would have gotten more agitated than what he was by the people yelling/shouting at it before the area could be cleared - if any fault is to be had (secondary to the kid even being there) it is with the people yelling and shouting at it instead of letting the Zookeepers handle the situation, but the dart itself would have stung like crazy because of the tranquilizer's properties causing it to escalate the situation - had the Gorilla been on the loose/escaped, and no danger to humans, the dart would have been the way to go... 

    That said - the question becomes how in the ever living F did that kid scale FOUR barriers to get in there in the first place?!?!?!  That's going to be the question ahead and how can things be adjusted without adding massive costs to facilities across the country to prevent it from ever happening again.  Finally - before people rant about the parent not watching the kid closely enough - 15mo - 5yo's can run off QUICK and quietly without you even noticing they're gone when they were right by you.  Zoos are full of distractions (ooh Look!  Flamingo!!!) and everyone distracts easily.  There's enough blame to go around, but how many millions of guests have been through that zoo since it opened and none have breached that many blocks to prevent people from entering the enclosures. 

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  • 6fsn said:
    I wasn't there I have no real opinion. A random stranger at the Memorial Day parade asked me about and I said the same thing, but she kept going on and on about it. It's all around a terrible incident.  
    I agree.  I've been telling people that it was the correct decision.  That doesn't mean it's the right one, that it's morally pure, or that it makes you feel good.  It just means that was the correct decision to be made and put into place.  
    MesmrEwekimmiinthemittenSP29
  • I love how people chime in as if they really know about gorillas. This is like people that love to say, "my dog doesn't bite." Your dog may surprise you if they bite someone, but who can say that their dog with NEVER bite if given the right situation.


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  • bleve0821bleve0821 The Shire member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Wild animals are unpredictable. Cages do not lessen that risk. It's regrettable that the gorilla was killed, but what if the zoo had decided not to act and the child died in its stead?  I never like when animals are killed, needlessly or otherwise, but in a situation like this, the zoo made the right call. Anything could have happened.

    That being said, I do have lots of questions about how the child even got into the enclosure, but it happened.


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

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  • I'm sad for the gortilla, the scared child, and the terrified parents. 
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  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think it was tragic for all involved, and that's all I'm going to say about that.
    SP29JediElizabeth
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I am also ignorant on the issue. But I take issue with the zoo. The news outlets have said the child crawled under the fencing and fell in. How is that even possible? Why wasn't there plexiglass or something?
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  • 6fsn said:
    There were 4 people on the edge of the pool the other day.  I know they were parents.  They were going ON and ON about this.  One woman kept repeating "it was the gorillas house" another said "if you can't watch all of your kids maybe you shouldn't have so many" "they should send CPS to take the other kids" "my kids never run off"

    Meanwhile I sat there for a solid 30 minutes throwing dive toys and never once saw one of their kids.

    At one point kids were splashing near them.  One woman was thigh deep in water and they were standing right by the play structure.  PRIME spot for smaller kids to be playing.  Someone accidently splashed this woman.  She started yelling.  I looked at her and said "your in their home"
    This is a good point. We were at a family member's house yesterday for a cookout, and they have a pool. The 13- and 5-year-old boys that live there can swim; their almost-3 sister still needs a puddle jumper. Apparently after H and I left, she jumped into the pool at some point, having forgotten to get it put back on. The 5-year-old was the only one in the pool at that moment and was thankfully quick-thinking enough to grab her and push her to the side for the adults to pull her out. But there must have been at least 8-10 adults by that pool, including her parents and grandparents. You literally can't watch them every single second and even if you're watching they may not be within reach before something happens.
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  • thefanciestbecklerthefanciestbeckler Chattanooga, TN member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I just saw some gorillas at the Louisville Zoo this weekend. How in the HELL that child got past all of the barriers that zoos put in place is beyond me. Either those barriers were shoddy or the kid was basically Houdini. I'd question the security of the zoo's enclosures before I'd question the mother's ability to watch her child.

    Other than that, I think the whole thing is tragic. There really was no winning in this situation. It is so unfortunate that a choice had to be made, but given the circumstances, the zookeeper made the right call.

    OurWildKingdomPrettyGirlLost
  • Having worked in the zookeeping field, I think the zoo made the only choice they could given the awful situation that they found themselves in.  The barriers were in compliance with the USDA and the AZA, and I know at the very least that the AZA doesn't mess around with that kind of stuff.  I've never been to this zoo, so I can't speak to exactly what kind of barriers they have, but from pictures and videos it looks very similar to a lot of ape enclosures that I have seen.  I wish they would have offered Harambe some kind of a trade, but they may have, because keepers did call him and he refused to come. It could very well be that the child in the enclosure was too much stimulation for him to give up for anything.  

    It breaks my heart that Harambe had to die for a mistake that wasn't his, but it was the only thing that could be done. I'm not going to jump on the 'CPS should take their kids' bandwagon, because I know that kids can disappear in a split second (although I do wonder why the parents weren't screaming his name, or alerting staff that their child was missing. It took a second for him to disappear, it took longer than that for him to get to the enclosure and get inside). That doesn't change the fact that a valuable breeding member of a critically endangered species' SSP (species survival plan) is now gone, and that damage is not easily fixed.  That damage would not have been done had that child not gone into that exhibit. If your kid runs off from you in a store and breaks something, it may have been an accident, but it's still your responsibility.  This was a tragic accident, but it's still that family's responsibility.

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  • drglitter said:
    Everyone I know seems to have a crazy opinion on this. Once he was in there, it seems like they did what was necessary.

    I will say, though, that the memes that came out of this are amazing. This one is my favorite.


    I love that.   

  • scribe95 said:
    I'm bothered by the instant and unrelenting attack on the parents. I wasn't there but no parent is infallible. Kids are quick and looking away for 30 seconds or a minute can result in tragedy. Everyone saying this would never happen with their child I think are naive. 

    This is a graphic of the enclosure. Doesn't look that hard to me. Climb one thing, crawl under bushes and boom, he was in the moat.

    636002342761651826-GorillaOnlinejpg

    Once in there the zoo had no choice. The gorilla initially was calm but became agitated and was dragging the child like a rag doll through the water. He could have easily drowned or been unconscious from his head hitting the concrete. 
    Not only that, but I swear I've seen a picture of the three foot fence, and it was basically two cables strung between wooden posts.  A kid could slip between those in a heartbeat.  (I've been looking, but haven't found it again yet.)
  • I was unpredictable as a child so my parents kept me on a kid leash. Seems extreme but I didn't end up in a gorilla exhibit...

    I guess this is the UO but I do think the blame lies with the parents completely. I get that kids can run away quickly and no I don't think you can watch them every second of every day but when going to the zoo they need to realize that even though these animals are behind bars and barriers they are still wild animals and can be dangerous and they need to teach their children it's not a joke and it's not ok to climb on exhibits or disappear etc... If they aren't prepared to respect the animal exhibits then they either shouldn't go to the zoo.

    Also while it might not that hard to get into the exhibit it's pretty clear to anyone that you shouldn't be climbing through barrier. I think this is evidenced by the fact that this is the first time this has happened for this exhibit since it was built in 1978... Somehow parents have been keeping their kids from getting into the exhibit for the last almost 40 years.
    I agree, especially since in this case I heard that the child was adamant about getting into the moat/exhibit. Kids that age can be so stubborn and do not have the mental capabilities to understand logic the way adults do. The parents should have moved on from the exhibit or kept an extra strong eye on him.
  • I was unpredictable as a child so my parents kept me on a kid leash. Seems extreme but I didn't end up in a gorilla exhibit...

    I guess this is the UO but I do think the blame lies with the parents completely. I get that kids can run away quickly and no I don't think you can watch them every second of every day but when going to the zoo they need to realize that even though these animals are behind bars and barriers they are still wild animals and can be dangerous and they need to teach their children it's not a joke and it's not ok to climb on exhibits or disappear etc... If they aren't prepared to respect the animal exhibits then they either shouldn't go to the zoo.

    Also while it might not that hard to get into the exhibit it's pretty clear to anyone that you shouldn't be climbing through barrier. I think this is evidenced by the fact that this is the first time this has happened for this exhibit since it was built in 1978... Somehow parents have been keeping their kids from getting into the exhibit for the last almost 40 years.
    I really used to detest those kid leash things.... and then I met granddaughter #3 who is now 9 years old.  We called that kid Houdini.  It was just in her make up - she was fast, inquisitive, and super sneaky.  She wanted to see things and knew mom and dad would prevent it so she learned the art of being sneaky super young.  Hence, the child leash that Nana not only endorsed, but used a time or two.  It looked like a little monkey backpack.

    I remember her mama getting out of our house and being found 2 houses down from ours.  I was branded the horrible mom.  The truth was he had installed a hook and eye above her reach because she knew how to unlock the door.  When I went in the kitchen she stacked enough toys to reach the hook and eye and escaped (granddaughter came by that naturally I guess).  Many remarks were made about my ability to keep an eye on my child - all by people who didn't know any facts.  There are a lot of facts unknown to all these critics of this woman whose child went into the enclosure.  I will let the authorities hash that out.
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  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its

    I was a flight risk as a kid and had a leash. I'd see something that interested me, go to it, realize I was alone and panic. After running under the ropes to hang out with football players at a training camp, mom got me a leash for big events like the Taste of Chicago where I could be sucked up by a crowd and actually missing in a second.

    But, I'm not sure I agree with "the blame lies with the parents completely". I wasn't there and haven't seen video of the parents and how they were acting before the kid got in, but to me, this is maybe a little "parent wasn't paying attention" and a lot "something shitty that happens that isn't anyone's "fault".

    It's definitely a horrible thing, for everyone/thing involved. Bottom line is that the kid got into the enclosure and I agree with the zoo's decision to kill the animal.

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  • SP29SP29 member
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    My initial thought was how the heck did the kid get into the enclosure? But then I have decided, I wasn't there, it isn't for me to judge. I do fully support the zoo and their decision- they know the animal best.

    The whole thing is tragic all around. Sad Harambe had to die because of a mistake, he was only acting like he is supposed to. Terrifying watching the video; even if Harambe was protecting the child, the child was getting dragged around the concrete ground very quickly. The child could have sustained a head injury or aspirated water and died from those complications. It must have been terrifying for the child's mother to stand there and watch unable to do anything.

    Personally, I'm against putting wild animals on display in limited habitats for our amusement. I do realize zoos contribute to conservation efforts, but I wish there was another way, such as more sanctuaries in the animals' natural habitats.
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdomscrunchythiefsparklepants41
  • I was unpredictable as a child so my parents kept me on a kid leash. Seems extreme but I didn't end up in a gorilla exhibit...

    I guess this is the UO but I do think the blame lies with the parents completely. I get that kids can run away quickly and no I don't think you can watch them every second of every day but when going to the zoo they need to realize that even though these animals are behind bars and barriers they are still wild animals and can be dangerous and they need to teach their children it's not a joke and it's not ok to climb on exhibits or disappear etc... If they aren't prepared to respect the animal exhibits then they either shouldn't go to the zoo.

    Also while it might not that hard to get into the exhibit it's pretty clear to anyone that you shouldn't be climbing through barrier. I think this is evidenced by the fact that this is the first time this has happened for this exhibit since it was built in 1978... Somehow parents have been keeping their kids from getting into the exhibit for the last almost 40 years.
    You can make that argument for a lot of things that have had to change eventually.    The "that's how we always did it" excuse is weak.   

    Unless you were there is don't think you can say the parents are entirely to blame.    

    FWIW, my brother was watched like a hawk but nearly fell to his death when he was three because he was about to throw himself off the church balcony.   
  • Like I said it's clearly the UO but if your kid is a flight risk then maybe don't take him to a place with dangerous animals. The fact is an animal died and it could have been avoided. 

    If if a kid escaped in a store and smashed a $5000 TV wouldn't the parents be responsible for paying for it? shouldn't they also be responsible in this case?
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  • Like I said it's clearly the UO but if your kid is a flight risk then maybe don't take him to a place with dangerous animals. The fact is an animal died and it could have been avoided. 

    If if a kid escaped in a store and smashed a $5000 TV wouldn't the parents be responsible for paying for it? shouldn't they also be responsible in this case?
    @marriedhamstermom ;I get the impression that you're not a parent or you aren't around young kids a lot.  

    1) We're talking about a young kid.   Young kids ARE flight risks.    I have no idea what this kid is like or how this mom parents (verb) but as a group, young kids can bolt.   That means that I won't take my young kids to the China / stemware department, places of fine dining, or the Yale law library.   A zoo??   A place that basically screams "This is how to entertain your family"??   You are out of your mind if you think that families with small kids shouldn't go.   Zoos offer family memberships for a reason.   Walk around one.   Families with young kids are their main clientele.  

    2) If my kid destroyed a TV we most likely wouldn't have to pay for it.  Stores actually rarely charge you for merchandise that was destroyed especially in the circumstance like that.   Some places have a "you break it you buy it" policy but I don't know how much of a legal standing they have to enforce it.   If we went to the local Best Buy and one of my kids beat up a flat screen there's no way that they'd force me to buy it.


    I have no way to know if the mom here is at fault.   She may have no, some or a hell of a lot of responsibility here.   But I think your view is ignorant in addition to its unpopularity.  
  • @banana468 no I don't have kids but I am around kids quite a bit and have taken them to zoos/museums and never lost a kid in an exhibit... I guess that is nice of stores, I would fully expect to pay for something if I broke it or had a kid with me that broke something.

    I get that zoos scream family entertainment but maybe that is really the problem. These animals belong in the wild and can be dangerous so maybe people need to have more respect and either leave them where they belong in the wild or not put them in situations where we need to kill them to save wandering children. 

    Anyways I heard the police are investigating if they are going to charge the family with something so I hope they figure out what really happened.
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  • So to be honest I haven't really seen much of the debate about this until I read a Facebook post in which someone said "We have too many humans and too few gorillas" and "we should have let natural selection take over" and "these parents should be in jail". Seriously?! 

    When did we lose compassion for little children? Accidents happen and sure we want someone to blame when an animal is killed, but really this was a child's life. And humans trump animals. 
    scrunchythiefmonkeysipOurWildKingdom
  • @banana468 no I don't have kids but I am around kids quite a bit and have taken them to zoos/museums and never lost a kid in an exhibit... I guess that is nice of stores, I would fully expect to pay for something if I broke it or had a kid with me that broke something.

    I get that zoos scream family entertainment but maybe that is really the problem. These animals belong in the wild and can be dangerous so maybe people need to have more respect and either leave them where they belong in the wild or not put them in situations where we need to kill them to save wandering children. 

    Anyways I heard the police are investigating if they are going to charge the family with something so I hope they figure out what really happened.
    That you yourself have not lost a child is in no way indicative of how children can behave.   As @scribe95 said, do you really want to charge a parent every time they lose a child?   Do you think that there should be a branch of the local police at every zoo or amusement park so over a loud speaker a runaway child can be taken away by the authorities and parents charged with neglect?

    You're coming off as someone rather high up on your pedestal implying that because it hasn't happened to you then you're better than those that it could happen to.

    As far as the comment about zoos, I think you may be onto something.   I do think we need to ensure that zoos are created to keep both the animals in them and the people going to them safe.   In many cases zoos are also responsible for helping an endangered population so I don't think we can fault all zoos.   But we can start to talk about how we're all really quick to judge others.

    This crisis has caused more parenting experts, gorilla experts and zoo experts to come out of the woodwork than I've previously seen.   Is the St. Copious in Northern Nebraska expediting degrees? 
    SP29
  • bleve0821bleve0821 The Shire member
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    To be quite honest, I don't even know why this is an issue.  If the zoo had done nothing, and the gorilla had killed that child (accidentally or otherwise), this would be a very different topic of conversation.  And guess what?  The zoo would still have had to kill the gorilla.  

    Instead of two lives lost, only one was.

    There is no way on God's green earth for anyone to know how that situation would have played out.  It could have ended one of three ways:

    --Harambe and the child both lived
    --Harambe and the child both died
    --Harambe died and the child lived

    I get that gorillas are endangered, Harambe was a critical link to sustain the dwindling population, etcetera and so forth, but that should most assuredly not be the issue.  If the child had fallen into, I dunno, the tiger exhibit, what do these people think the zoo would have done?

    There's a far bigger picture here that a portion of our society seems to be ignoring.  This isn't about assigning fault, or natural selection, or whatever other bullshit arguments exist out there.  This isn't about right, or wrong.  It's not about "bad" mothers and rowdy kids.  It was about protecting life.  Human life.  And, under the circumstances presented, the zoo chose to do that.

    I hope to god I don't start seeing shit like #gorillalivesmatter.  For the record, all lives matter.


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

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