We live in a world where second-guessing is a national past time. Nearly everybody
with a Twitter account believes they can run the country better than President Obama,
coach better than Bill Belichick, act better than Robert DiNiro, and solve society's
problems in 140-characters or less.
So, when officials at the Cincinnati Zoo acted swiftly and decisively to save a child from
possibly being killed by a 400-pound silverback gorilla, the so-called experts said something
other than shooting and destroying the rare animal could've and should've been done.
Stop it. Please.
A 4-year-old child who snuck down into the gorilla's habitat, looked like a tic-tac sitting
next to "Harambe", the menacing-looking and powerfully-built gorilla. It marked the
first breach at the zoo in 38 years.
38 years. Think about that, too.
At first glance, it looked like Harambe was trying to protect the child. However, as the
screams of the patrons at the zoo grew louder, it appeared Harambe was starting to freak
out a bit.
Harambe grabbed the little boy by the leg and dragged him in the water like a rag doll.
If you watched the video, it didn't take much to be horrified by what you saw.
Imagine how the boy's mother felt?
Oh, there are some calling for the mother to be arrested for letting her child sneak his
way into the gorilla's territory. Yep, because no kid has ever disappeared under the watch
of a mother, father or both, in a crowded environment. Most witnesses acted like the mother should've had her kid on a leash or ball and chain.
How absurd. Mistakes happen, we all know that.
Can you imagine if you saw your child being dragged around in a body of water by a
gorilla who was covered with nothing but muscle? Those silverbacks can crush a coconut
with their bare hands. Imagine what he could do to a small child?
Zoo officials acted swiftly and decisively. There was no hemming and hawing. They
didn't want to see the child killed on their watch by a gorilla who seemed to becoming
increasingly annoyed by the screams coming from people watching the incident play out.
Harambe grabbed the small child once again, swirled him through the water, then went out
Officials made the decision to shoot to kill. There wasn't much thought given to using
a tranquilizer to knock the big gorilla out. According to experts, Harambe could've gotten
frustrated and subsequently freaked out by the drug going into his system.
This was a split-second decision that had to be made. Officials couldn't Google up other
incidents where gorillas encountered children who found their way into a dangerous
There was no time to say, "Oh, but Harambe looks so cute. He would never hurt a child."
Officials shot the gorilla. They saved a child and that's the most important thing. Could
you imagine the mother going up to officials after watching the gorilla rip her son in half
and ask, "Why didn't you shoot the gorilla? You could've saved my child. How can you
look me in the eye and tell me you did the right thing."
Zoo officials in this case, did the right thing. They saved the child. And the director of
the zoo said they'd make the same decision again...and again....and again.
I love animals and I was fascinated by Harambe, the silverback gorilla. But he was an
animal, not a human. But you know what? He could've snapped just as easily as many
humans do when they get frustrated, lose their poise, and ultimately, their minds.
That child could have died in front of a lot of people Saturday. It would've made for
a horrific situation and one of the saddest funerals the state of Ohio has ever seen.
Moving on from the death of a gorilla would've been easy for many. After all, they didn't
really know the big fella. Moving on from the death of a child who could've been saved, um,
not so easy.
Zoo officials made the correct decision. Don't second-guess it. Don't think you could've
made a better decision. If you think that way, then you're just another person who
thinks they have all the answers. Which you clearly don't.