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Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

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Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Old 05-29-16, 09:54 PM
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Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

In gorilla's death, critics blame mother, Cincinnati Zoo

Those are some of the words the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden used Sunday in a contrite explanation for the death of Harambe, a 17-year-old western lowland gorilla killed on Saturday to save a boy who slipped into the zoo's habitat.

The boy was in "imminent danger," leaving the zoo's Dangerous Animal Response Team with no option but to shoot the 450-pound gorilla, zoo director Thane Maynard said in a statement on Facebook. Tranquilizers may not have taken effect in time to save the boy while the dart might have agitated the animal, worsening the situation, Maynard said.

"We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child's life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made," he said.
The words did little to assuage an angry chorus of critics who believed the gorilla's death was unnecessary. Many blamed the boy's mother for failing to look after her son. Neither the boy nor his family have been identified.


Some even suggested the boy's parents should be held criminally responsible for the incident. An online petition seeking "justice for Harambe" through criminal charges earned more than 8,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.
Others criticized the zoo for responding with what they felt was excessive force. Demonstrators gathered outside the zoo on Sunday calling for a boycott.

The boy, 4, was released unhurt from a Cincinnati hospital Saturday and the zoo opened on Sunday. Gorilla World, home to nine western lowland gorillas, was closed.
The incident drew widespread attention as dramatic video spread across the Internet showing Harambe dragging the boy like a rag doll through the water across the habitat

The boy climbed through a barrier and fell some 15 feet to a shallow moat in Harambe's enclosure, Maynard said.
Kimberly Ann Perkins O'Connor, who captured some of the incident on her phone, told CNN she overheard the boy joking to his mother about going into the water.
Suddenly, a splash drew the crowd's attention to the boy in the water. The crowd started screaming, drawing Harambe's attention to the boy, O'Connor said.


At first, it looked like Harambe was trying to help the boy, O'Connor said. He stood him up and pulled up his pants.
As the crowd's clamors grew, Harambe tossed the boy into a corner of the moat, O'Connor said, which is when she started filming. Harambe went over to the corner and shielded the boy with his body as the boy's mother yelled "Mommy's right here."
The crowd's cries appeared to agitate Harambe anew, O'Connor said, and the video shows him grabbing the boy by the foot. He dragged him through the water and out of the moat atop the habitat, O'Connor said.

By that point, "It was not a good scene," she said. When the boy tried to back away the gorilla "aggressively" pulled him back into his body "and really wasn't going to let him get away," she said.
O'Connor left before the shooting. When asked if the the barrier could be easily penetrated by a child, she said it would take some effort.
"Unfortunately, it was a bad situation where a 4-year-old didn't have the attention of his mother for seconds," she said. "I don't think it was as easy as standing up and falling in. He actually had to climb under something, through some bushes and then into the moat."


Captivity is never acceptable'
The zoo defended its safety barriers, saying this is the first time Gorilla World has experienced a breach since the exhibit opened in 1978. The exhibit is inspected regularly by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and the United States Department of Agriculture, and adheres to safety guidelines, according to the zoo.
"The safety of our visitors and our animals is our No. 1 priority," Maynard said. "The barrier that we have in place has been effective for 38 years. Nevertheless, we will study this incident as we work toward continuous improvement for the safety of our visitors and animals."
Zoo officials said the incident lasted about 10 minutes. According to a Cincinnati Fire Department incident report, the gorilla was violently dragging and throwing the child, leading the zoo's emergency responders to decide to put the gorilla down "to save the child," the zoo said. The response team includes full-time keepers, veterinarians, maintenance workers, zoo leadership and security staff. All members are trained and certified annually by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said on Twitter the tragic episode was the latest proof that "captivity is never acceptable for gorillas or other primates." Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered in the wild, numbering fewer than 175,000, according to the zoo. An additional 765 gorillas dwell in zoos worldwide.

The zoo had its share of defenders and supporters, who weighed in on Facebook acknowledging the difficulty of its decision.
"I know that was a tough decision for the zoo to make," one commenter said. "Now if that child was killed because they (the zoo) didn't do anything then everyone would be up in arms."

As another person said, "My heart goes out to all of the Zoo Family at this time. I am well aware of how difficult the decision was and it could not have been an easy one for the Zoo's Animal Response Team especially as the staff at the Zoo goes above and beyond providing compassionate care for all the animals entrusted to them.
"It is unfortunate that to save the life of a child, an animal had to be sacrificed. Thank you to all the Zoo Staff for all you do for the animals. Wishing you peace."

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/29/us/cin...-gorilla-shot/

-How did the mother not notice her kid entering the enclosure? Not only her but all of the other Adults in the area didn't see the kid and stop him from entering?

Maybe it's time we start electrifying the barriers?

I also hope the Zoo takes legal action against the Mother.
Old 05-29-16, 10:02 PM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

If only zookeepers didn't own guns. This wouldn't have happened.

Originally Posted by PETA
Captivity is never acceptable
I'm not "pro-zoo" as I think they are stupid and if you wanna watch animals, go to their world or buy a goddamn Blu-ray.

In any case, how about stupid parents should never be acceptable. Don't let this parent get away with it. Zoos are not necessarily places to have fun in all areas of that zoo. Zoos should post conspicuously, that a parent or guardian who is found to be negligent...they WILL be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows.
Old 05-29-16, 10:07 PM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Should have shot the boy, 4 y/o are not an endangered species!
Old 05-29-16, 10:14 PM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Originally Posted by eXcentris View Post
Should have shot the boy, 4 y/o are not an endangered species!
Oh man, I actually laughed out loud and had Gatorade come out my nose.
Old 05-29-16, 10:49 PM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Should have shot the kid's parent for letting that happen.
Old 05-29-16, 11:04 PM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Originally Posted by eXcentris View Post
Should have shot the boy, 4 y/o are not an endangered species!
Old 05-30-16, 02:01 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

I see Sigourney Weaver memes coming.
Old 05-30-16, 02:11 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

This is how PLANET OF THE APES starts, isn't it?
Old 05-30-16, 03:25 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

I'm waiting to climb on board with George Clooney's stance.
Old 05-30-16, 04:03 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Originally Posted by eXcentris View Post
Should have shot the boy, 4 y/o are not an endangered species!
Or just let the gorilla have the kid and let nature take its course. Eventually, Harambe would either get bored and let the kid go or rip him to shreds. And then it would end up on either Youtube or Liveleak, respectively.
Old 05-30-16, 05:46 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Signing the petition was the least I could do...

https://www.change.org/p/cincinnati-...ce-for-harambe
Old 05-30-16, 07:25 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Or just let the gorilla have the kid and let nature take its course. Eventually, Harambe would either get bored and let the kid go or rip him to shreds. And then it would end up on either Youtube or Liveleak, respectively.
Or he could wind up as Tarzan
Old 05-30-16, 07:49 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

I know that it's politically incorrect to blame anyone but worthless parents for anything like this, but some of the blame must lie with the zoo. If a four year old boy could get into an enclosure, couldn't a small primate get out the same way? Sounds a bit negligent to me.
Old 05-30-16, 08:06 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Originally Posted by Jason View Post
I know that it's politically incorrect to blame anyone but worthless parents for anything like this, but some of the blame must lie with the zoo. If a four year old boy could get into an enclosure, couldn't a small primate get out the same way? Sounds a bit negligent to me.
No, they could not get out. The last part of getting into the enclosure was falling down 15 feet into a moat.
Old 05-30-16, 08:24 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Originally Posted by Jason View Post
I know that it's politically incorrect to blame anyone but worthless parents for anything like this, but some of the blame must lie with the zoo. If a four year old boy could get into an enclosure, couldn't a small primate get out the same way? Sounds a bit negligent to me.
The zoo is almost entirely responsible. To have an enclosure in which a four year old can enter is the problem.

At least the zoo did the right thing in saving the innocent child's life.
Old 05-30-16, 09:08 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

I'm tempted to make light of the situation or look for someone to blame.

Instead, I'm overwhelmed with how traumatic the situation must have been for those watching. The video of the gorilla dragging the boy through the water is disturbing.
Old 05-30-16, 09:19 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Originally Posted by Pharoh View Post
The zoo is almost entirely responsible. To have an enclosure in which a four year old can enter is the problem.

At least the zoo did the right thing in saving the innocent child's life.
Where do you draw the line though? Does every business have to child-proof their establishment? A kid can get into a lot of places. My kid falls into the pit at the oil change place: the business' fault?

I strongly think the 'almost entirely responsible' is on the shitty parents.
Old 05-30-16, 09:24 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

I don't blame the mother. I've seen too many toddlers who, if you take your attention off them for just a moment, are gone. Mom could have taken one minute to pick up the shoes that the baby kicked onto the ground, and that gave enough time for the 4-year old to go exploring.

I don't blame the zoo, either. The point of a zoo is to allow people to get close to wild animals. It teaches children that there is more to life than declawed house cats and goldfish. Out of a hundred million or a billion tickets sold worldwide, one child falls into the pen or a one teenager gets grabbed while taunting the tigers. Zoos could make it safer for the people by doing something like putting concertina wire on the fences, but that would make it less enjoyable for the customers. The zoos have to strike a balance somewhere.
Old 05-30-16, 09:26 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

The ironic thing is that if they just left the boy there for the gorilla to raise instead of the parents, he would probably turn out better.
Old 05-30-16, 10:11 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Originally Posted by Pharoh View Post
The zoo is almost entirely responsible. To have an enclosure in which a four year old can enter is the problem.
This is the first time the enclosure has been breached in the exhibit's 38-year history. We have been to that exhibit dozens of times, and I'm astounded that anyone could get across the barrier without being noticed (on a busy Saturday, no less). I haven't been able to find a good picture of the full barrier, but one would have to climb over the fence and then get through some dense shrubbery (along the left side of the image below) in order to get to the moat.



It's a tragedy all around, but it would never have happened if the child was properly supervised.
Old 05-30-16, 10:24 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

[QUOTEIt's a tragedy all around, but it would never have happened if the child was properly supervised. ][/QUOTE]

This. People are now saying that they heard the kid say "Mommy I'm going to go in the water". People also said that she had around three kids with her at the time. Regardless, fault 100% lies with her because if she couldn't control her three kids she shouldn't have had them there in the first place. Now because of that, and endangered species was killed senselessly.

I don't blame the zoo at all because they made the decision they made and they had to make it quick. I also feel bad for them for having to make that decision.

I also feel bad for the Guerilla because the day before was his 17th birthday.
Old 05-30-16, 10:27 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Stupid stupid parents!
Old 05-30-16, 10:35 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Originally Posted by Pharoh View Post
The zoo is almost entirely responsible. To have an enclosure in which a four year old can enter is the problem.
Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Where do you draw the line though? Does every business have to child-proof their establishment? A kid can get into a lot of places. My kid falls into the pit at the oil change place: the business' fault?
Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I don't blame the mother. I've seen too many toddlers who, if you take your attention off them for just a moment, are gone. Mom could have taken one minute to pick up the shoes that the baby kicked onto the ground, and that gave enough time for the 4-year old to go exploring.

I don't blame the zoo, either. The point of a zoo is to allow people to get close to wild animals. It teaches children that there is more to life than declawed house cats and goldfish. Out of a hundred million or a billion tickets sold worldwide, one child falls into the pen or a one teenager gets grabbed while taunting the tigers. Zoos could make it safer for the people by doing something like putting concertina wire on the fences, but that would make it less enjoyable for the customers. The zoos have to strike a balance somewhere.
I share some of all these views.

The parents are responsible, but without keeping children on leashes, they will do unpredictable things at a moment's notice.

As pointed out, the zoo is a place that purposely allows people to get close to wild animals. That being said, they should bear a far greater responsibility than, say, the aforementioned garage. Zoos are a huge attraction for kids with millions of children visiting each year; not so with grease pits at the garage.

The zoo should do everything possible to make its exhibits child-proof; a 4-year-old should not be able to access any dangerous area like this without resorting to extraordinary, unforeseen means. If they can, then the area is not "safe."

The only party not personally responsible in any way is poor Harambe.
Old 05-30-16, 11:01 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Originally Posted by printerati View Post
This is the first time the enclosure has been breached in the exhibit's 38-year history. We have been to that exhibit dozens of times, and I'm astounded that anyone could get across the barrier without being noticed (on a busy Saturday, no less).
Nature will find a way.
Old 05-30-16, 11:05 AM
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re: Cincinnati Zoo Kills 4-Year-Old Boy Who Fell Into Enclosure to Save Gorilla

Unsurprisingly, there is already a petition to have CPS investigate the mother, Michelle Gregg. I'm a bit less sympathetic towards her now that it's been discovered that she manages a preschool for Cincinnati Union Bethel.

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