Skip to main content

The Real 400 Pound Gorilla in the Room

Let’s talk about the gorilla in the room. On this occasion I don’t mean this as a metaphor. I mean it quite literally. I am referring of course to the story of Harambe, the 400 pound gorilla who was shot and killed by Cincinnati zoo officials after a four year old managed to get into his enclosure. It is a sad story. The zoo is a wonderful place. We enjoy watching animals doing their animal things. We are especially enthralled by chimpanzees and apes because they appear almost human. But they are not. And many seem to be forgetting this point.

If we are going to have zoos then sometimes these sort of accidents are going to happen. I assume that the zoo has experts and has people who know gorillas quite well and that they therefore had no choice but to shoot the animal so as to be sure to save the child. No one wants to have to make a choice between lives, between that of their pet dog over a human, but the choice should be crystal clear. Many seem to be losing this distinction. There are hundreds of thousands of people who have signed an online petition demanding justice for Harambe.

It is so easy to judge others....