Harambe the Gorilla
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04-06-2016, 03:47 PM (This post was last modified: 04-06-2016 04:17 PM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Harambe the Gorilla
I live a few minutes away from the Cincinnati Zoo. I was heartbroken when I heard about the incident. As someone who majored in biological anthropology with a focus on primate behavior, I understand that Harambe's action of momentarily dragging the child was simple posturing in a bid to intimidate the crowd of naked apes who were yelling at him. After much thought, I've come to the very hard conclusion that shooting him was probably the right thing to do (right doesn’t mean “best”, though). Past instances of children falling into gorilla enclosures involved an established 25-year old male in 1986 and a human educated 8-year-old female in 1996, respectively. Harambe was only recently transferred to the Cincy zoo, meaning that, as a young adult, he was no doubt still trying to solidify his leadership role in the new gorilla hierarchy. "Young bloods" are often overly aggressive when trying to secure a spot at the top. Tranquilizers would have taken too long, and the shock of getting hit with one may have aggravated the poor guy even more.

Having said that, however, I think the situation could have been completely avoided if the mother had been paying more attention to the child. He was arguing back and forth with her about swimming with the gorillas. Her attention was drawn away by one of several other children with her, and this is when he somehow squeezed his way passed the barrier and fell in. One witness stated, “She was putting kids in the strollers – there were four or five kids total – and getting ready to leave the exhibit. She didn't have him by the hand, and at one point, he must have been behind her, out of sight." There wasn’t a balanced guardian-to-child ratio, to my mind. I know how little kids are notorious for darting off. I certainly wouldn’t take that many to the zoo even if I had another person with me to help.

Sure, the zoo shares some responsibility for having a small barrier, but the mother shares even more because she didn’t keep an eye on her son. There is a reason that the enclosure has been open for nearly 40 years without incident.

One new development I’ve seen is Black Lives Matter sympathizers claiming the gorilla was shot because of “white privilege”—i.e., to save a white child. They somehow think the child would have been left to their untimely fate had they been black. The only problem is the child is black. There is no reason to muddy the waters by claiming race had something to do with it. It disgraces the memory of Harambe and diminishes the danger the child was in.

I’ve seen several “the gorilla had to die” articles that have upset me to some degree. One in particular argued that "a human life is more then a gorilla's." It’s this kind of thinking that leads to complacency regarding the dwindling number of gorillas in the wild. There are roughly 130,000 wild and 350 captive individuals, which means gorillas like Harambe were/are very important to the future of the species as a whole. It's been suggested that many of the great apes will be extinct in the wild in the next 20 years. Gorillas are super intelligent, communal hominids who share just over 98% of our DNA. Letting them die out is like condemning a close cousin to death. Therefore, I think the choice between saving a human child or gorilla inhabits more of a moral “gray zone”. What’s more important, a child who is one of 7.4 billion humans, or one male gorilla who is part of an endangered species with roughly 165,000 individuals in existence? I haven’t seen any one look at the situation from this angle. I guess another perspective is to look at the relative ages of those involved. What’s more important, a 17-year-old hominid, or a 3-year-old hominid? The latter obviously still has much to experience in life. So you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.
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04-06-2016, 04:36 PM
RE: Harambe the Gorilla
(04-06-2016 03:47 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  I live a few minutes away from the Cincinnati Zoo. I was heartbroken when I heard about the incident. As someone who majored in biological anthropology with a focus on primate behavior, I understand that Harambe's action of momentarily dragging the child was simple posturing in a bid to intimidate the crowd of naked apes who were yelling at him. After much thought, I've come to the very hard conclusion that shooting him was probably the right thing to do (right doesn’t mean “best”, though). Past instances of children falling into gorilla enclosures involved an established 25-year old male in 1986 and a human educated 8-year-old female in 1996, respectively. Harambe was only recently transferred to the Cincy zoo, meaning that, as a young adult, he was no doubt still trying to solidify his leadership role in the new gorilla hierarchy. "Young bloods" are often overly aggressive when trying to secure a spot at the top. Tranquilizers would have taken too long, and the shock of getting hit with one may have aggravated the poor guy even more.

Having said that, however, I think the situation could have been completely avoided if the mother had been paying more attention to the child. He was arguing back and forth with her about swimming with the gorillas. Her attention was drawn away by one of several other children with her, and this is when he somehow squeezed his way passed the barrier and fell in. One witness stated, “She was putting kids in the strollers – there were four or five kids total – and getting ready to leave the exhibit. She didn't have him by the hand, and at one point, he must have been behind her, out of sight." There wasn’t a balanced guardian-to-child ratio, to my mind. I know how little kids are notorious for darting off. I certainly wouldn’t take that many to the zoo even if I had another person with me to help.

Sure, the zoo shares some responsibility for having a small barrier, but the mother shares even more because she didn’t keep an eye on her son. There is a reason that the enclosure has been open for nearly 40 years without incident.

One new development I’ve seen is Black Lives Matter sympathizers claiming the gorilla was shot because of “white privilege”—i.e., to save a white child. They somehow think the child would have been left to their untimely fate had they been black. The only problem is the child is black. There is no reason to muddy the waters by claiming race had something to do with it. It disgraces the memory of Harambe and diminishes the danger the child was in.

I’ve seen several “the gorilla had to die” articles that have upset me to some degree. One in particular argued that "a human life is more then a gorilla's." It’s this kind of thinking that leads to complacency regarding the dwindling number of gorillas in the wild. There are roughly 130,000 wild and 350 captive individuals, which means gorillas like Harambe were/are very important to the future of the species as a whole. It's been suggested that many of the great apes will be extinct in the wild in the next 20 years. Gorillas are super intelligent, communal hominids who share just over 98% of our DNA. Letting them die out is like condemning a close cousin to death. Therefore, I think the choice between saving a human child or gorilla inhabits more of a moral “gray zone”. What’s more important, a child who is one of 7.4 billion humans, or one male gorilla who is part of an endangered species with roughly 165,000 individuals in existence? I haven’t seen any one look at the situation from this angle. I guess another perspective is to look at the relative ages of those involved. What’s more important, a 17-year-old hominid, or a 3-year-old hominid? The latter obviously still has much to experience in life. So you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

I agree with every bit of this. ^^^^^

I too am heartbroken about the gorilla but I imagine the lawsuit that is bound to follow, on the other hand, will probably make me irate.

(I did not know the child's race and it makes no difference either way but that bit about the BLM using this to gain a spot in the publicity is nauseating.)

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04-06-2016, 04:40 PM
RE: Harambe the Gorilla
(04-06-2016 01:06 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  
(03-06-2016 09:17 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  You didn't say anything about whether he had control or not, you said he had intent. Do you think toddlers have intent?
Honestly I don't understand why you wouldn't think a child of that age would have intent. I mentioned control because his actions are driven by his intentions, and he has control over his actions.

Actually, toddlers do not have control over their action. To have control, you must be able to make an assessment of risk for an action and they do not have that capability.

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04-06-2016, 07:47 PM
RE: Harambe the Gorilla
That kid is at an age where he MIGHT look to see if a parent is watching what he's doing. He's still getting his behavioral control from his parent(s) at that age...who should have been paying strict attention. My kids out of my sight for only a few moments was a cause for concern. That gorilla died because that parental control of the kid was missing, IMO.
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04-06-2016, 08:29 PM
RE: Harambe the Gorilla
(03-06-2016 08:03 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  As far as "who sues whom" .... the parent took their kids to a place for an outing that should have been kid-safe.
It wasn't. As I see it, the parents sue the zoo for negligence, and all the harassment that was heaped on them.

The parents should pay for the gorilla. Drinking Beverage

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04-06-2016, 08:45 PM
RE: Harambe the Gorilla
(03-06-2016 08:03 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  As far as "who sues whom" .... the parent took their kids to a place for an outing that should have been kid-safe.
It wasn't. As I see it, the parents sue the zoo for negligence, and all the harassment that was heaped on them.

No, the parents took their kid on an outing and like anyplace that children are at, there is risk and the the need for parents to control their offspring to protect them from harm. There is no such place as a risk-free environment. It does not exist.

The zoo hasn't had an incident in 40yrs. Their record is good, I wonder if this mother has as good of record for watching her children?

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05-06-2016, 04:39 AM
RE: Harambe the Gorilla
Ghost exorcist is right I questioned the parenting issue briefly about 4 pages back but GE's analysis is much more thorough the 5 to 1 ratio is insane there's no way on earth I would take five young kids to a zoo (or anywhere else for that matter ) unaccompanied. If the idiot mother sues and wins then I fear for the sanity of the American people.
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05-06-2016, 05:44 AM (This post was last modified: 05-06-2016 05:49 AM by Matt Finney.)
RE: Harambe the Gorilla
My take is that most of the blame lies with the zoo. Zoos are one of the most common places that people take their kids. It's not unreasonable to assume that it is a kid-friendly place. Does the blame lie solely with zoo? No. As with most accidents, there are a number of contributing factors that all needed to align for this to happen. The barrier had to be passable (not all of them are), the toddler had to have the urge to go in (not all toddlers are so adventurous), the mother had to have been distracted, and there had to be no one else around to see the child going in (or stop him from going in). To have all of the factors align like this, is unlucky and unfortunate, but it could happen to almost anyone.

Now on to the whole endangered species bit, and that somehow making the gorilla more valuable than the human. This argument doesn't really make any sense to me. The truth is that neither the gorilla or the human have any intrinsic value. There is no more "sanctity of life" for humans and gorillas (even endangered ones), than there is for mosquitos or HIV virus. Also, why are these gorillas endangered in the first place? Is it because too many of them are shot in zoos? Or is it because of loss of habitat and poaching? Is it because this planet is constantly changing and species are constantly going extinct (no doubt that humans have been a big part of rapid change and extinction)? The fact is, when these gorillas do become extinct, they will join more than 99 percent (more than 5 billion) of all species that have ever existed. Another thing people are reluctant to admit is that the biggest threat to slowing down rapid extinction, is a growing human population. This planet can only sustain a certain amount of life. Right now we use about 40% of the earth's land to grow food for human consumption. What happens when that population doubles, what happens when it triples, what happens when it increases tenfold, or a hundredfold? I can tell you what will happen. We will see habitat destroyed at an astronomical rate, and mass extinction will ensue. Those crying extinction need to address regulating human reproduction, not gorillas getting shot in zoos.
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05-06-2016, 06:36 AM
RE: Harambe the Gorilla
It definitely boils down to there being too many people. It's very obvious but like climate change deniers, people who don't believe in evolution, religious or "spiritual" people - people deny the truth about overpopulation despite getting slapped in the face with it thousands of times a day. It seems to me that the core seed that all other stupid denials of truth grow out from is religion. I don't like to argue with religious people in real life. I take solace in that religion is so far a very short term and isolated phenomenon contrasted with life from the beginning. It feels hopeless right now but maybe there will be a sudden paradigm shift and humanity will let go of all this nonsense and start getting into the solution phase.
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05-06-2016, 09:04 AM
RE: Harambe the Gorilla
Yes, the zoo should have made the enclosure safer. A zoo is a kid rich environment.

Yes, the parent(s)/adults who decided they would be responsible for children in their care should have done a better job.

Yes, shit happens.

Yes, the victim in this is the gorilla...in more ways than one.

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