Did you all see this?

http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/animals/animal-behaviour-...

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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Jake, I was responding to Matt, just for fun.

https://www.google.com/#q=pacifistic+definition

But for you, in particular, can you say "specifically pacifistic" three times in a row really fast?

not really fast...kinda fast..but that is a tongue twister extraordinaire

It is way more likely a gorilla will save a human I think then gratuitously kill one.

This is why no good parent here would want you watching their child. Instead of working on the assumption that a child's welfare always comes first, you want to play the odds. You actually think betting the child's welfare on the possibility that the gorilla might not harm the boy is a rational decision.

In fact though, while the gorilla didn't seem to intend harm, he was in fact already harming the boy both physically, by dragging him around like a toy, and psychologically. The boy was certainly terrified being under the control of a gigantic animal and separated from his mother.

You just don't get it, Unseen. Life is never black-and-white - EVER. I let my child walk to school alone. They could get hit be a car or goodness knows what else. You "play the odds" each time they take a breath - they might catch the flu and die.

I wouldn't want YOU watching my kid because I'd come home and find him dead of suffocation. "Not my fault", you'd say. "Just trying to protect him from EVERY eventuality".

You consider all reasonable possibilities and do what you can to put the odds in your favor. (By "you" I mean normal people.)

You just don't get it, Unseen. Life is never black-and-white - EVER.

Where do you see black and white thinking on my part? 

I wouldn't want YOU watching my kid because I'd come home and find him dead of suffocation. "Not my fault", you'd say. "Just trying to protect him from EVERY eventuality".

I don't think even you really believe that's what would happen. 

I was trying to avoid this story as ultimately, I have only so much time and this is just one boy and a gorilla...

...but my wife brought it up last night and we looked into it together. I place the blame squarely with the zoo. Why? Have a look at the "fences"... constructed in such a way that children HAVE to climb over them in order to see over the bushes. Once over the fence, it's easy to leave over the bushes for a better look and BAM! child falls in. If you're going to run a zoo, make sure children are able to view the exhibits safely, otherwise the children WILL view the exhibits unsafely.

On to whether the zoo was right to kill the gorilla: I think given the circumstances, human boy's life > gorilla's life. Regardless of whether the gorilla was treating the boy like a young gorilla, or if it was treating the boy like a new toy, the boy would eventually suffer significant injuries or death.

Is our society just going crazy?

Yes. It doesn't seem to come up as often as other types of crazy but this "wildlife conservatism" is every bit as wacky at times. Even in terms of conserving wildlife, a single gorilla, in captivity, is nothing compared to the destruction of habitat that human kind is doing.

Should they have done something different?

I heard they tried to lure the gorilla away with treats but it was too distracted by the screaming crowd. Any other action would of presented significant additional risk to the boy's life.

What a zoo. I think it's a design issue.

Well, you know, "Wherever there's a will there's a way" and "Shit happens."

Are you aware that that exhibit has been there in that form for 40 or so years with millions of visitors viewing it and this is the first time anyone breached the defenses?

The most responsible party is undoubtedly the boy's mother, but I don't think the law should come down on here. I bet most parents who've raised small children can remember an occasion when their child disappeared on them at least momentarily, during which time all kind of bad things could happen from a kidnapping to a fatal accident. Typically, it doesn't turn into a tragedy like this and typically the parents learn a valuable lesson about keeping close track of their kids.

I guess so, yet I would bet they change the design in the near future to prevent a similar tragedy. Thinking we need an electric shock collar for kids...you know a mild jolt.

I remember many years ago seeing a mother of two toddlers, who had them both on coiled wire (not unlike old style telephone handset wire, but much thinner) attached to her wrist.  They'd wander off, bounce off the end of the range (about six or seven feet) and then toddle back to her, it was almost like watching cartoons of electrons or something like that.

Careful design of enclosures to keep people/animals in or out is an art and every time someone gets around it somehow, lessons are learned.

They learned, for instance, that bolted together frameworks are no good with gorillas.  They can actually undo the nuts, they have that much strength in their fingers.

Razor wire. That and a brace of Dobermans behind the barrier, and beyond that an alligator moat.

Are those animal lovers SERIOUSLY proposing that the zoo should have let the situation play out? 

Wouldn't that qualify is conducting a scientific experiment on an unwilling child?

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