You probably know all about Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla in Cincinnati that zookeepers killed because a 4-year-old boy crawled into his cage. This is a debate that is going to go on for more than a while.
Should the zookeepers have killed him or was the gorilla simply protecting the little boy? How could they have gotten the boy out without killing Harambe?
We have new video footage taken by a bystander at the zoo that shows the gorilla with the boy and it appears as though he’s standing guard over him and protecting him. Witness statements indicate that the gorilla seemed to be guarding the boy in a very tense situation with panicked onlookers screaming as they watched the scene unfold.
According to an incident report filed by the fire department the gorilla was “violently dragging and throwing the child.”
Is that what you saw?
Could the zookeepers have tranquilized Harambe instead of killing him?
From the video it certainly seems that the child wasn’t in immediate danger from the gorilla. It would seem that the zoo would have tranquilizer guns close at hand as a high-powered rifle, but I don’t know that for sure.
The zoo director addressed that issue in a press conference, saying that while child did not appear to be in immediate danger the gorilla is an extremely strong animal in an agitated situation.
He also noted that tranquilizing Harambe could have taken several shots and the time could have put the boy in much greater danger.
This is a no-win situation for the zoo. Kill the gorilla and save the boy and have the wrath of the world come down on you. Or, try to tranquilize the gorilla and have him rip the boy in two – a very possible outcome – and have the wrath of the world come down on you.
I’m not going to criticize Cincinnati Zoo officials for their decision, there are plenty of other people already doing that. I think the decision they made erred on the side of making sure a 4-year-old boy went home from the zoo with his family that day. I can’t argue that point.
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