Did you all see this?


A young boy "fell" into a zoo exhibit with a 17 year old (endangered) silver back gorilla.

The zoo had to put him down to save the child's life.

Many MANY people are outraged by this. I wonder what they would have said if the boy had been killed instead?

People are saying things like "it was not necessary" and "the mom should be criminally charged"...

Not many people are talking about the health safety and wellbeing of the child who just experienced something likely very traumatic. No one is talking about the child. They are talking about the gorilla.

What do you think? Did the zoo do the right thing? Should they have done something different?

I think they saved the boy's life. You don't need to be an animal expert to know that while he was "protecting" the boy, his mere strength could have injured him if not killed him.

Is our society just going crazy? Why is everyone up in a frenzy about the gorilla instead of thanking them for saving the boy's life?

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Race baiting!!!

I hadn't even noticed that the boy was black. Are you saying that that fact should have been taken into consideration wrt this question?

I didn't say anything. Just provided a link to one point of view.

Before it came out that the boy was black, some were claiming that the only reason the zoo shot the gorilla was because it wasn't a black in danger; they were screaming about white privilege.

Now that it turns out the boy is black, people are blaming the upset over the gorilla's death on racism.  Lovely.  Notice how you can't win?  Some people are going to go out of their way to impute a racist motivation to ANYTHING that's done.  People are going apeshit (so to speak) about this because they value a gorilla over a human life, because the gorilla is endangered and homo sapiens is not, and it doesn't and did not matter what pigmentation the human is to them, it's a matter of some "speciesist" valuing a human over another species.  How dare they.

some "speciesist" valuing a human over another species.  How dare they.

A valid question. Let's take it ad absurdum. Say that, in a similar circumstance, a severely deformed orphan with no mental capacity were being threatened by this gorilla. I think MOST people would say that doesn't change anything - it's still a human vs an ape - kill the ape. I call BULLSHIT. That human's value simply doesn't trump an endangered gorilla. If you think it, that it does, please tell me why - without resorting to some kind of spiritualism.

Species protect and value their own above others, as a general tendency.

This is analogous to someone holding your child, and some kid you've never seen before, or a rabbit, and saying he was going to kill ONE of them...and you pretending you don't care which one.


If its YOUR kid being dragged around and ricocheted off concrete, I think you would see it differently.

I DO feel horrible that the gorilla was killed, it was not fair to it, but, still, if it was my kid, vs the gorilla, I'm not voting against my own kid.

In real life, there's no time to see what will happen in these cases...if you want to be sure to prevent something bad from happening.

The people at the zoo prize the critters there.  They are the LAST people who want to shoot a rare silverback that they've cared for for years...so if they determined that a tranq dart would spook the beast and risk further injuries to the kid, and that the only option was to shoot it dead, I am sure that it was what they thought was the best course of action at that time.

If you've been to zoos, you know they have low fences so kids can see.  A tall plexiglass wall is less intimate, and, adds maintenance, reduces visibility, etc...but they have them sometimes.

Just as as baseball games where a kid can be hit by a foul ball....they only have nets/guards behind the plate....because adding walls along all the sides would make going to the game, suck.


Just as as baseball games where a kid can be hit by a foul ball....they only have nets/guards behind the plate....because adding walls along all the sides would make going to the game, suck.

PERFECT! Try this. Google "killed by a foul ball". LOTS of hits. If it was YOUR kid killed by a foul ball, you'd think that ANY precaution would be worth preventing that and protecting YOUR child. If public policy were decided by people whose loved ones were in immanent danger, motor vehicles would be banned for a start.

Luckily public policy is NOT decided by people who would willingly spend millions to protect just THEIR children.

Some posters here just don't GET that that's not how it works. I admit that, if it were my kid, I'd want every possible measure taken to protect them. However, unlike these posters, I am also able to recognize shit happens which simply cannot be prevented. I am able to recognize (as some others are not) that everything you do may, in the brilliance of hindsight, have life or death consequences. There is NO SUCH THING as total protection against adversity. Shit WILL happen. You (normal people) step from one gamble to the next trying their best to ensure that they protect themselves while still having a life.

In summary, despite MANY deaths from foul balls (and, by the way, NO deaths from a gorilla killing a child falling into a cage), you, at least, know what's important - that you can enjoy your baseball game without obstruction.



The obstruction issue is the primary concern it seems, for zoos and baseball and hockey, NASCAR races, etc.

There have been many deaths and injuries at zoos from people getting into animal enclosures. There have been many deaths and injuries to sport spectators.

They COULD put up a barrier to prevent ALL of those deaths, but costs in construction and lost revenues for live events preclude that happening so far.

So, yes, mathematically you are correct about the basic principle that makes a parent want to protect their child...but are incorrect about public policy. The public typically over reacts, as you have described, instead of accepting that shit happens, and then applies its own unique bias...and that DOES shape policy.

More people die from boating accidents than from school shootings, yet, no one is demanding that boats be banned to protect them...because they are not against boats.

As you said, more die in car accidents by a huge margin, yet, no one is banning cars, because public sentiment is not against cars.

So, its simply unrealistic to expect someone to allow a rare animal to kill their child, simply because the animal is endangered.

Philosophically, sure, you can argue that they should...but, they won't.


A real life example, for me, that's close but not quite the same thing, was waaay back, I was relocating Timber Rattlers (Endangered rattle snakes) from the Appalachian Trail to a safe refuge for them.

An associate slipped and slid down into a crack and was about to get bit by a good sized rattler.

I could let him get bit...or, whack the critter with my noose stick, which might hurt it...it was the only way to knock down the incoming strike, as a reaction save.

I did whack it, but, I felt bad doing it...but the guy would have gotten the fangs right in the face...and that's both a hemo and neuro toxic venom....he'd be a goner.

The snake was actually OK though, and it gave the guy time to flip his pack between the snake and him to escape.

So, it worked out, but, the endangered snake COULD HAVE been injured by my actions...and my associate killed or injured if I did nothing.

I'd do it again the same way, well, maybe I'd warn the associate about the slippery leaves.


to allow a rare animal to kill their child, simply because the animal is endangered

Again - black and white thinking, EITHER the ape has to die OR the child dies. The idea that BOTH could easily have lived is beyond the ken of some posters. The ape was clearly protecting the child and then attempting to move the child away for all the commotion - a behaviour I would expect from a gorilla. Sure, he didn't demonstrate much human parental skill in the latter, but he wasn't raised as a parent in the zoo, But more importantly the child was not harmed. So we can reach the conclusion that the ape knew what he was doing, Baby moved - baby NOT injured. And the gorilla DID demonstrate the empathy which we could expect from a fellow primate.

the endangered snake COULD HAVE been injured by my actions

Clearly not analogous: "about to get bit by a good sized rattler". The rattler was very lucky you didn't have a gun. I would have shot the rattler if it was "about" to strike.

  1. The rattler is stupid unlike the ape
  2. The rattler justly believed it was being attacked - the ape did not

The gorilla did not need to die. Both gorilla and child should be alive today - and they would be were it not for Americans litigious nature, obsession with violence, and black and white thinking.


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