Harambe or the Child? Was The Killing Justified?

Harambe the gorilla ,Cincinnati Zoo

The controversy over the killing of the gorilla into whose enclosure an innocent and maybe mischievous child fell has been raging for the 6th day now.

Below is the face off, so to speak:

2016-06-01-1464823721-1362386-34BD01D0000005783617102The_zoo_shot_the_beloved_animal_after_he_dragged_the_boy_throughm5_1464657365215.jpgSource: Daily Mail UK

Almost no one has advocated a clear and justifiable course of action!

What would YOU do? Would you save Harambe or would you save the child or could you save both? Put your answer in the comments below.

I have read and endured many an opinion and quite a few news stories. Expertise and punditry on both sides have been recorded and repeated in media. There has been some factual reporting as well.

Everyone is getting in on it. There is a petition — Justice for Harambe signed by nearly 500,000 urging investigation by child services of the parents of the child! Charges against both zoo and parents are being considered. Protests and demonstrations by animal rights activists have been made. Many a poster and a vigil or two has been created in memory of the beloved gorilla — may he rest in peace! The hashtag #JusticeForHarambe is tearing up Facebook! Of course the press promptly asked The Donald for his opinion on this even while he beat up the press in general. I was half expecting Mr. Trump to say gorillas are Muslims or at least make Harambe posthumously pay for a higher moat wall.

Even the adorable Ms. Cuoco got in on it to make a point about senseless killing. Oh Penny! What if Sheldon or Leonard or even Raj (yes in that order) had fallen in?!! Or were you just thinking of Howard?

Jack Hanna and The Donald sided with the zoo.

What is most annoying about this controversy and the amount of attention it is getting is how everyone on both sides of the matter are sidestepping the central conflict and deliberately or naively using it as a platform.

Before we ask that central question of “Harambe or the child” lets set aside some things:

1. Killing anything — animal from endangered species or one grown for food — is gruesome and difficult to justify.
2. Zoos are not nice for animals. Let us proselytize the millions who pay to go in instead of merely critiquing and picketing existing zoos.
3. The child and the mother may or may not have been careless. Unfortunately it is the nature of our species and the burden of raising our young.
4. It is NOT impossible that the zoo’s decision was in some part a “cover your ass.” It is also NOT impossible that they were indeed acting purely for the safety of the child.

Having said all this, what would YOU do? Would you save Harambe or would you save the child or could you save both? Put your answer in the comments below.

Consider for a moment some of the possible alternative endings:

1. Harambe (a member of an endangered species) instantly (right after the child fell in) and fatally harms the child giving no one any choice to make. Would there be 500,000 people or maybe many more demanding Harambe be put down? Would said petition bring the child back?
2. Harambe fatally harms the child at some point after the zoo had been alerted. Would there be 500,000 people demanding the zoo be shut down AND Harambe be put down? Would that bring the child back?
3. Harambe fatally harms the child after the zoo had attempted to tranquilize him. Again, would 500,000 people demand the zoo leaderships’ and keepers’ and Harambe’s heads for mismanagement? Would that bring the child back?
4. Harambe fatally harms the child while a zoo official or our adorable Ms. Cuoco had gone in to the enclosure to have a sensible dialogue with Harambe and cozen our tyke from his very reasonable albeit formidable grasp. Wait… would he just hold Penny prisoner as well? Penny did do a role as a gorilla! Oh the drama! Sheldon himself would have to be summoned to fix that! However would it bring the child back?
5. Harambe responsibly gives the child back after playing with him for 1 more minute. Do YOU want to bet on this scenario? Would the mother in question or any mother take you up on it?

The bottom line — and please address this if you are going to address anything — would you / could you definitively (not leave it to chance) save both or would you save just one of them and if so who? Please put your thoughts down in the comments below!

At this point, I would be just as guilty of bandying opinion if I did not take a stand. So here:
1. This child is of my species while Harambe (who I admired and grieve for) endangered as his species might be is not.
2. Any species will protect its young and eliminate potential threats. Even Harambe’s species. Especially Harambe’s species?! We are the only species that might consider otherwise. How any species eliminate the threat depends on circumstances.
3. Given the uncertainty and the extremely abbreviated length of time (inform someone, make decision, implement decision, too late gorilla broke his neck) the only HUMAN decision possible was to regretfully kill poor Harambe.
4. Chancing a child’s life even if for the sake of the very last member of an endangered species is abhorrent. If you are of a different opinion, please express it below in the comments.

I suppose I might have fanned the flames a bit. However, I am hoping some will see that I am attempting otherwise. Have I made this a platform? Unfortunately, I did! However, I attempted to address the conflict at it’s core rather than hijack it for other purposes.

What do you think?

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