Harambe should never had been killed

This editorial just in from Gill, a long-time member of Face Activities:

Everyone agrees that the death of Harambe the gorilla was a tragedy, but it should also be a crime. Harambe was only 17 years old, a young silverback gorilla just beginning to start a family group of his own, but his life was tragically ended this week by gunfire. Why?

This gentle giant was a harmless soul, living happily and quietly in the Gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, with others of his kind. And the people loved him, visiting in droves. Everyone agrees that had the right to live and socialize with others of his kind for the rest of his natural lifespan, just like all animals, including human beings. Unfortunately it ended tragically for Harambe and his new family, when a small child fell into his enclosure. Zoo officials shot the young silverback gorilla, rather than giving him a chance by trying to save both the child and the gorilla. And the could have done it!

So, why were they so worried about Harambe that they needed to shoot him to death like a rabid dog?

Well, that’s a good question. The little boy didn’t fall into a den of meat eating lions. Harambe was a vegetarian. His massive 400 pound body was developed by eating plants and fruits only, like all gorillas. In the wild they travel along the forest floor. Their great strength isn’t used for hunting or killing, but primarily used to bend trees and strip their bark, and deal with hard plant materials of all kinds. Harambe could crush a coconut with his bear hand–a man would have needed a sledge hammer. So there was no threat from a carnivorous beast to contend with.

Was the gorilla harming the child? No, the witnesses say he was protecting the child, and perhaps trying to play with the child. The boy was released from the hospital with no serious injuries at the end of the day, despite being in the gorilla enclosure for 10 to 15 minutes. That’s ample time for a 400 pound giant to kill a tiny human child, if he’d wanted too. But he clearly didn’t.

So why didn’t they choose to rescue the child without using violence? There were experienced zoo workers and officials on hand to help retrieve the child, and they had a fireman on hand, who’s job it is to enter difficult areas to rescue people. Was this gentle creature, Harambe, worse than a raging fire or a rapid, devastating flood? No, he was a gentle creature, playing with his new friend, who deserved a chance. Instead they chose a gun.

And why didn’t they dart this young ape with a tranquilizer dart? Wouldn’t that have been a logical step to take? But they weren’t even willing to try. The zoo officials claim it would have been too dangerous for the child. They insist that Harambe would have been driven wild and turned on the child in a homicidal rage. But what evidence is their for this? This great animal never displayed such terrible behavior before in his entire life. And yet we are supposed to believe he’s a crazed killer just waiting to be unleashed with a small dart?

So what was the concern of the zoo keepers? They were very likely preoccupied by a pervasive fear percolating throughout American society, and it had nothing to do with Harambe or anything within the timeless forests of equatorial African from whence his kind came. They feared, sadly, the wrath of lawyers, and the lawsuits they would bring against the zoo, if the child was injured or killed, even if that was an unlikely possibility. They likely feared a huge lawsuit, regardless of Harambe’s gentle nature, so they acted in their financial interests, and to hell with Harambe. Let’s not forget that zoos are going financial concerns. They are businesses, with bottom lines. And the management of zoos are charged with protecting the bottom line, as is the management of all businesses.

Please consider signing these petitions in response to Harambe’s tragic loss, in order to promote accountability and hopefully prevent such terrible tragedies in the future:

Harambe’s Law – Change.org
“In light of the recent tragedy at the Cincinnati Zoo in the death of Western Lowland Gorilla Harambe and the enormous loss of this CRITICALLY ENDANGERED animal, we would like to pass Harambe’s Law, so there are legal consequences when an endangered animal is harmed or killed due to the negligence of visitors.  If this law is enacted, it will not only protect the animals, but will hold individuals accountable for actions resulting in harm or death of an animal…”

Justice for Harambe – Change.org
“…We the undersigned actively encourage an investigation of the child’s home environment in the interests of protecting the child and his siblings from further incidents of parental negligence that may result in serious bodily harm or even death.Please sign this petition to encourage the Cincinnati Zoo, Hamilton County Child Protection Services, and Cincinnati Police Department hold the parents responsible.”

 

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