"I'm far from being a tree-hugger, but lowland gorillas are
endangered and stupid people aren't." Twitter Comment
Live Action News
Over Memorial Day weekend, the internet has been exploding with comments, articles, and rants related to the death of Harambe, the 17-year-old silverback gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo.
While the entire situation was harrowing, terrifying, and tragic, what many of these vocalized opinions reveal about our culture is infinitely troubling.
There’s not a legitimate debate over whether the little boy who crawled and fell into Harambe’s habitat would have died if the gorilla hadn’t been shot. CNN reported:
Officials made the decision to shoot Harambe because the boy was in “imminent danger.” They feared a tranquilizer would take too long to kick in, and the dart may have agitated the gorilla.
“There was nobody getting that baby back from that gorilla — no one was taking him,” Hollifield [an eyewitness] said.
Jack Hanna, world-renowned zookeeper and director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium stated that he “agrees ‘1,000 percent'” with the zoo’s actions.
“They made the correct decision. Matter of fact, it’s a millisecond decision,” Hanna told “CBS This Morning” Monday. “All of us are sorry. We’re all, in the zoo world, heartfelt for this whole thing but thank goodness a human being is alive today because of the decision that the zoo made.”
And, very simply, that’s exactly what this entire situation came down to: to save a human life or not to save a human life. Notably, if the zoo had chosen to not shoot Harambe, and he had killed the boy, he would have had to be euthanized anyway. This wasn’t going to end well for the gorilla, period.
But far more than an unfortunate incident or a tragic event that could have been even more tragic, Harambe’s death has revealed a number of troubling things about the way too many in our culture think: