A 4-year-old boy got into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati zoo resulting in the animal’s death
A 17-year-old Western Lowland Gorilla had to be shot dead at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical after it dragged a four-year-old boy around its exhibit. The boy, who somehow managed to crawl under the barrier and into the animal’s enclosure, survived with serious but non-life threatening injuries after being taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The animal, unfortunately, did not.
According to Fox19, the zoo’s director, Thane Maynard, said the boy made his way into the exhibit at about 4 p.m, where witnesses saw the gorilla “violently dragging and throwing the child,” according to a release from Cincinnati Fire Department. People online – and off – are understandably upset at this tragic turn of events.
This is the internet, so reactions to this terrible story have been swift, and run the gamut from outrage and accusations to grief and sadness, the latter of which strikes me as the correct response. But what do I know?
Take it away, Facebook!
“Parents fault this animal died…it’s bad enough they have to live in a zoo but to get killed for the stupidity of some parents is just sad….”
“Charge the parents with child endangerment, idiots.”
“So the gorilla did nothing wrong, but was killed because a person did. Get rid of zoos and you won’t have to make abominable choices like this.”
“Where are the idiotic parents who will let their moron of a child climb into a gorilla enclosure??–sad that the gorilla had to be put down instead of the parents”
“The parents should be charged for their negligence and forced to pay the price of an adult gorilla to the zoo.”
“That’s sad. A beautiful animal lost it’s life because some negligent adult can’t keep their child in line. Pitiful!”
“You know what I’m sick of? People who think animals are more important than people. There was nothing in the article about the condition of the child. Screwed up priorities!”
“I get it. Poor gorilla, but if that was my child…You better shoot the gorilla! A parent expects the zoo to have safe enclosures. Period! RIP gorilla and hopes for good news from the child’s doctors.”
There is precious little detail about how the four-year-old was able to get inside the gorilla’s enclosure, and plenty of blame to go around. There are no winners here. It’s terrible that a gorilla was killed merely for being a gorilla, and it’s horrifying that a young child went through such an ordeal. No matter what blame you lay on the child’s parents, no one would wish such a thing on anyone.
So before you go online and start screaming about who did what wrong, take a step back. This doesn’t have to become a war between animal lovers and parents, or a nonstop parade of accusations. No one is happy a gorilla was sacrificed, or that gorillas are in cages, but we can take some solace in the fact that the child survived.