UNITED STATES—The recent incident involving Harambe, the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, being fatally shot by zoo officials after a 4 year-old boy fell into the gorilla’s environment has raised a vital question for many in the public sphere: just how safe is the zoo.
This is a question beforehand that was always in the back of my mind, but this incident really causes one to think about it. For most zoos, precautions and safety guards are in place to protect the animals from the humans and the vice versa.
I’m still trying to do my best to wrap my mind around how the hell this little kid found a way to gain entry to this compound. More frustrating, is why the parents were not able to maintain a handle on their son to ensure such an incident would not happen?
I recall when I first heard about this incident last week; all the media outlets were taunting the incident as the gorilla attacked the boy. However, that was not the case if you carefully watch the video. The gorilla was actually protecting the child in my opinion, but all of the hoopla from the parents and individuals in the zoo only intensified the situation more. Not only did the screaming and yelling frighten Harambe, but it was placing the child’s life in serious harm, which forced the zoo officials to do the unthinkable and kill the animal before it possibly harmed the child.
Yeah, many have pointed out a tranquilizer, but it would have taken way too long for the drugs to react to the animal’s body. I mean it’s still horrifying to watch the gorilla drag that child in the water as if it was a toy. I can only imagine the nightmares and fears this child will have about gorillas, yet alone animals in general.
Questions have arose rather the parents should be charged? And the prosecutors have announced that no charges are expected, however, I do believe parents need to be more attentive to their children in public settings, especially a place like the zoo. Could you imagine what would have transpired if this was a child who found his way into the habitat of a lion or a tiger? Yeah, the issue of time would be critical because a toddler wouldn’t stand a chance.
Did the parents have too many kids to juggle? I mean what was going on that the mother and father wasn’t aware one of their kids was missing until it was too late? I hate to say this, but if you can’t be attentive to your children, don’t bring them out in public, especially a place like the zoo. I mean we hear stories time and time again about how it only takes a second to take your eyes off a child before something bad can happen.
I do think the Cincinnati Zoo has to take more safety precautions to prevent such incidents from ever happening again. I’m almost certain they’ve already installed the appropriate safety parameters to ensure no adult, let alone a child has the ability to get ANYWHERE close to the animals habitat. This doesn’t only pertain to the gorilla exhibit, but likely all animal exhibits at the zoo.
Think about it, there is a reason most zoos have reptiles enclosed in an environment where they can’t pose a significant threat to patrons, because God forbid if a child or adult got too close or if the animal was able to escape. It was not a sight worth remembering. I had to raise this question because just thinking about this incident makes me wonder if the local zoo in my region has implemented all the safety precautions to ensure my kids or my nieces and nephews are not in a situation where such an incident takes place. I was always an advocate of going to the zoo at least one a year, but this latest incident has made me question just how safe is the zoo and as adults are we prepared for any situation if it happens to arise. It’s something we seriously have to think about, like it or not.