Everyone reading this should now have at least three or four invitations to the homegoing ceremony for Harambee the silverback gorilla. Poor Harambee got his wig pushed back after a three-year-old boy fell into his cage. Now everybody is pointing fingers and assigning blame. Honestly, I’m waiting on the report of how much weed Harambee smoked as a teen and if he had a criminal past.
I can admit that my first response when hearing about “Gorilla Boy” was that the parents should be fined for not keeping close enough tabs on their kid. Then it dawned on me. The kid was four-years-old. Unless you tie a kid that age down to a motion-sensing alarm with electrified chicken wire, they’re going to escape your grasp at some point.
Having a little one around the same age, I can testify that making a run for it makes up about 85% of their daily thoughts. Add in the sensory overload of a zoo and you’ll need a dedicated toddler tranquilizer gun. There’s a reason fences and gates exist. Especially in a place that’s known to host large amounts of children.
So if kids that age are so prone to busting loose, you’d think parents would have them tethered to their waist all the time. But If you’ve spent any time with young children, you’d know that’s nothing short of torture for everyone.
I suspect that the folks who are so bent on crucifying the parents of Gorilla Boy have no idea of how kids actually work. These are the same people who love talking about beating everyone else’s kids or believe that whoopings magically solve everything.
What happened at that Cincinnati zoo was an accident that resulted in tragedy. The kid was being a kid and the parents got caught slipping.The big difference in this case was that there was an animal involved that had the strength to pull a person’s head off.
Shooting Harambe was incredibly unfortunate but no one can can honestly say that they’d disagree with that decision had it been their own child. I’d go as far to even say their own pet. I can’t co-sign watching a silverback drag a child through its enclosure and respond by tossing in a Whole Foods gift card while yelling “Namaste” through a bullhorn. I propose these same folks who are so quick to risk the life of someone’s child volunteer themselves to be used as a distraction for a wild animal the next time something like this happens.