On Harambe

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The media frenzy is at its height as I write this post with angry people expressing differing opinions.

That mother should have been watching her little boy! What a terrible parent!

Why didn’t they tranquilize the gorilla instead of killing him?

At one time I was the mother of a slippery and active little boy; you won’t find me placing the blame on his parents. Kids can get away from you so quickly and I cannot imagine the terror his mother and father experienced after they realized what happened.

Experts are saying tranquilizing Harambe wasn’t an option. He may have reacted badly to the force of the tranquilizer dart and lashed out at the child. Or something horrible may have happened to the boy during the time it took the tranquilizer to take effect.

So who is to blame? I don’t really know. I do know one thing for certain, however.

It wasn’t Harambe’s fault.

He didn’t ask to be born into captivity. That decision was made for him. He didn’t choose to be put on display and especially didn’t choose to be put in a position where a small child was put in his path. 

Advocates of zoos applaud their conservation efforts. Sadly, zoos have little to do with conservation and everything to do with business. They’re in it for the money just like any other entertainment outlet. Even though primates are the animals most like us, we continue to treat them as property.

But what about educating kids about wild animals? Don’t zoos offer kids a chance to learn about animals? Children learn nothing from visiting a zoo except that certain species are treated differently than others. Gorillas fall under the category of Entertainment just like elephants in the circus. Their well-being aside from food and shelter is not considered.

A trip to the zoo is a fun day out with the family, right? Unfortunately, the animals never get a day out. They live their lives in the same surroundings and many times those lives are cut short due to human intervention.

Harambe died the same way he was born: in captivity for the benefit of humans. Please remember him the next time you consider a visit to the zoo or any other animal park. The animals deserve better.

 

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