Kaley Cuoco & other celebs pay tribute to Harambe, the gorilla killed at the zoo


Beyond the current political landscape, the most depressing story of the Memorial Day holiday was the BEYOND tragic story of Harambe, the 17-year-old silverback gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. Harambe was minding his own business in his habitat at the zoo when a 4-year-old boy fell into the enclosure. Zookeepers panicked, and they got two female gorillas out of the enclosure but Harambe stayed close to the boy. Some say that the gorilla was acting violently or aggressively towards the child, although there’s new analysis of the footage that suggests that Harambe was holding the child’s hand and perhaps trying to protect the kid, at least initially. Instead of shooting Harambe with a tranquilizer to temporarily incapacitate him, zookeepers decided to kill him outright to save the 4-year-old.

The whole thing is absolutely a tragedy and quite honestly, there’s enough blame to go around. Many people have been going hard on the parents of this child, and many people have been questioning the zoo’s decision to kill Harambe. As of right now, the police are investigating the situation and the zoo says they will not press charges against the parents of this kid. Animal rights groups and animal rights activists will not be placated though, and honestly, I can’t blame them. The fact that this beautiful, endangered animal was killed because of human error (or a series of human errors) makes me sick. Here are some assorted celebrity reactions.

Kaley Cuoco, a long-time animal-rights activist, posted this on Instagram:

Photos courtesy of Instagram, WENN.

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317 Responses to “Kaley Cuoco & other celebs pay tribute to Harambe, the gorilla killed at the zoo”

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  1. Lindy79 says:

    Oh here go hell come

    This could get nasty

  2. Bridget says:

    A male Silverback gorilla wasn’t gently holding the 4 year old’s hand. This whole mess was tragic, but have people forgotten how dangerous these animals are?

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      The gorilla had the child in the enclosure for over 10 minutes and dragged him through the water. People say the animal was agitated and it wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt the kid, but one wrong move and the kid could have had his head smashed against the rocks. The zookeepers made the right call.

      • Liv says:

        This. Even if he was protecting him, he was also dragging the child through the water. He could easily hurt him unintentionally. They had to kill him. I blame the parents that they didn’t look after their child when people around stated that the boy talked about to get to the water repeatedly. It’s their fault that this animal was killed. What a shame. Humans are so stupid.

      • V4Real says:

        I blame the parents. You’re at a freaking zoo, not strolling through the park. Keep eyeball supervision on your kids. So sick of people trying to justify the killing of this gorilla when it was clearly the parents fault for not keeping their child close. What were they doing that was so important that their child was able to climb over and fall into that enclosure. Who don’t supervise their child around a dangerous gorilla. How long was that kid unsupervised that he had time to climb over a barrier, bushes, a 10 or 12 foot drop and a shallow moat. All put in place to protect people and keep the gorilla’s from getting out.

        This woman needs to be charged or pay a hefty fine. And before people start with the kids slip away all the time, or it happen so fast, remember these parents were not at a mall and lost track of their kids, they were at a zoo with dangerous animals. This kid had to be out of her supervision for more than a few seconds in order for him to climb over or through that barrier. While she was probably taking a selfie or something. And even if your child runs away from you, you run after him. Or do like I saw this lady do in Central Park when her daughter ran away from her and she had her other kids with her. She yelled out to people that were walking in the direction her child was running and said could you please grab my daughter for me. One of the bystanders grab the little girl and held her until her mother reached them.

      • Marianne says:

        @V4Real : Witnesses have said she was attending to her other child.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I hear you, but sometimes you can look away from a child that age for two seconds and a tragedy happens. I think it should be investigated, but I would wait before condemning this woman for neglecting her child. I do question why the zoo had this animal in an environment that a four year old could breach so quickly.

      • Megan says:

        Years ago I worked the lemonade stand at a children’s themed water park. At least a quarter of my day was spent carrying a sobbing children to the “lost child enclosure.” Kids sometimes get away so I don’t think it is terribly outrageous that he slipped out of his mother’s view. What concerns me more is that she just assumed he was safe and didn’t respond effectively to his boasts that he was going to enter the enclosure. Clearly the child is strong willed and willing to take risks. I doubt this was his first stunt.

      • SilkyMalice says:

        Yes, this. Sad but true. The zoo keepers made the right choice.

      • LadyAnne says:

        That’s exactly the way I saw it. Yes the gorilla was holding the child’s hand, but how violently did he drag him through the water ?

    • doofus says:

      yup, you’re right.

      I read an opinion piece from a woman who has worked with silverbacks for decades and she said he was NOT protecting the kid…the way he was holding him and dragging him was a “display”, as in, what a silverback does when he feels his group is threatened. normally, they will drag and slam a tree branch, barrel, etc…but what he had was a (in the words of the writer, not verbatim) “nice treat” to display with. he may have been protective at first, but when people started screaming, he got agitated and started to display.

      I tend to take this person’s word for it over a bunch of celebrities. yeah, I’m an animal lover too, and what happened seems to be a culmination of errors and carelessness, but no ONE SINGLE person’s or entity’s fault.

      • Teach says:

        Can you send a link to the blog? Id love to read it!

      • LizLemonGotMarried says:

        I saw that too, and it really cemented for me that the zoo made the right, but painful, call. Now, as far as if the parents should be held accountable for their child getting into the enclosure, that’s another matter all together.

      • LizLemonGotMarried says:

        It was a Facebook post from Amanda O’Donoughue.
        Here’s the link:

      • doofus says:

        FYI, I think it’s also on Slate.com

      • I Choose Me says:

        Yeah, I’ll take the experts’ word as well. Plus I saw the video of Harambe dragging the child and it’s clear that that the gorilla was agitated by all the screaming people. That kid could have been seriously hurt accidentally or not or even killed.

        Tragic that the zoo keepers had to put him down. I won’t rush to blame the mother or parents though. I wasn’t there but I know how wily and determined kids can get.

      • susanne says:

        This is tragic. I do not rush to blame the parents. Though some certainly do not watch their kids closely enough, some kids are just a danger to themselves. I have one that I had to watch like a hawk until just recently, and he is ten now. He has wandered off more than a few times, and I was hypervigilant about his safety.
        I will be very interested in reading what Goodall has to say, and appreciate the thoughtful links to folks who know about gorilla behavior.

      • Fiorella says:

        Interesting info, thanks for sharing that. In regards to shooting the gorilla, I’m not sure intent matters. I saw the most video and it looked quite dangerous though not necessary violent

      • Dee says:

        Everything you said.

    • t.fanty says:

      Even if it was protecting the boy, it can’t adjust its strength to accomodate how much more delicate a human child is than a baby gorilla. The point is that the child was in danger. The right call was tragic, but it was still the right call.

      • Mixtape says:

        Exactly. So many people don’t seem to understand that both are possible: He was attempting to protect the kid but was possibly going to kill or paralyze him in the process. The zoo staff are closer to Harambe than any of the public criticizing them, but they are trained for how to respond in such a situation and made a very difficult but necessary call.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Yes. I adore animals and I am so sorry that this happened. But it was a four year old child’s life in the balance. They did what they had to do.

    • Francesca says:

      This happened at our local zoo. I understand what a big loss this is to the gorilla community. But it simply is not ok to risk the safety and well being of a child. As sad as it is that a gorilla died, I would rather see the flowers and tributes strewn around a gorilla statue than a tiny coffin.

      • Liv says:

        Yeah. but why did the child get near the gorilla in the first place? Just because humans didn’t pay attention an animal we locked up had to die. Tragic.

      • Bridget says:

        It’s a ZOO. When was the last time you avoided an exhibit at your local zoo because you were worried it was too dangerous?

      • Kitten says:

        Exactly, Liv. It’s the PARENTS who risked the safety and well-being of the child.

      • V4Real says:

        “It’s a ZOO. When was the last time you avoided an exhibit at your local zoo because you were worried it was too dangerous?”

        I don’t avoid but I bet you I can tell you I keep my child close to me when around such exhibits. No matter how you try to dress it up, it’s the parents fault. This kid is a prime example of why parents need those leashes they make for kids.

      • Petee says:

        Who even goes to a zoo anymore and why would you?I am sorry this was the parent’s fault.

      • Lady D says:

        I was at a zoo with my son in a stroller, and we had stopped about 4 feet from a enclosure of huge swans. One of the swans shot his head through the fence and nailed my son on the bottom of his shoe, knocking it off him. I couldn’t have moved faster to pull him out of reach while he giggled. The family beside me thought it was funny too, so they moved their stroller nice and close. I said don’t. The bird nailed the child’s thigh, but was going for the kid’s face.

      • ls_boston says:

        Population of lowland gorillas – a critically endangered species – is barely 100-200K. Population of human’s – 7.5B.

        It’s not hard for me to answer where I’d rather see the flowers strewn.

        Not that the 4-year old kid deserved to die and while I won’t yet condemn the zoo, I think it a monumental tragedy that the gorilla was killed. I do hope that the parents as well as the zoo policies as well as its protections are scrutinised with a fine tooth comb. Another such instance of human carelessness causing the defensive killing of a wild animal won’t be quite so pensively reflective.

        That said, I agree with whoever said that the only good thing to come out of it is that he’s not in an artificial environment any more. Wish all these creatures could be rendered free – but sadly they’re in no fit condition to be returned to the wilderness anymore.

      • amilu says:

        ls_boston, this is exactly how I feel. The only problem with that is if the child had been accidentally killed, Harambe would’ve still probably been euthanized because of it.

      • delorb says:


        Parents can watch their kids like hawks while they’re out and things like this would still happen. My heart goes out to her, just thinking of how she had to stand there not knowing if the gorilla would harm the child or not. Its a horrible feeling when your child goes missing. Imagine how bad it was when she discovered he’d fallen 11 ft and was next to a 400 lb gorilla. But society has spoken and she’ll probably get charged with something. If there isn’t anything on the books, I’m sure they’ll make something up.

      • Sim says:

        It’s unwritten rule that we are on top of everything else, but that gorilla was more valuable than 1000 children. Horrible but true.

    • Yolie C says:

      Exactly, it’s always strange when people are surprised when animals act like animals.

      • Petee says:

        I am a huge animal activist and know how they behave.I worked with a gorilla years ago on a job.I felt sorry for him because he was not living the life he should.Zoo’s and Circus’s should be outlawed.

      • Andrea says:

        @ Petee You are 100% right. Zoo’s should be banned.

      • susanne says:

        How about the argument that zoos, when done well, give people access to and a connection with animals we would only see on television. This connection ideally leads to more interest in conservation and money going to preserve natural habitats.
        I don’t know how well this argument holds water.

      • qwerty says:

        It doesn’t. Animals are not here for our entertainment, to be locked in cages and displayed while we walk around taking pictures and eating ice cream. They’re here for their own reasons, not to be used and abused by us.. Also, judging by what we (as humans) continue to do to animals in the meat and dairy industry, it’s safe to say it’s not making us more empathetic towards them. Besides, learning about animals from watching them in a cage/aquarium is like learning about humans by observing them in solitary confinement.

    • Unbelievable says:

      ” Instead of shooting Harambe with a tranquilizer to temporarily incapacitate him, zookeepers decided to kill him outright to save the 4-year-old.”…I can’t believe what I’m reading…honestly that was the most disgusting sentence I’ve ever read.. There are plenty of analysis by different “experts” and they can give their “expert” opinion all they want, at the end of the day this 400lbs gorilla, endangered or not could have made one move that would have ended this child’s life!! Everyone has an opinion up until it’s their child in the cage with an unpredictable wild animal!! If any of you blinked and your child got away from you..which can happen even for 1 second..and your child was face to face with a gorilla, who would say “don’t kill it, he’s protecting my child, just put him to sleep”?!?!..NOBODY, any mother would tell the zoo keepers to get their child out NOW. …and since we’re talking about “analyzing the situation”.. Anybody pick up on the racial turn this media coverage has taken? I read an article detailing the child’s fathers criminal history, the child’s father wasn’t even present when this tragedy happened! Anytime something like this happends, no names, ages, races or ethnicities are ever announced.. Yet people found out this was an African American family and suddenly the fathers criminal past is front page news overriding the fact that the child is alive and safe. I’m so done with this website, blatantly choosing an animal over an innocent child ? You must be a trump supporter. SO DONE!

      • amilu says:


      • Cheryl says:

        The child had to be rescued. I don’t care if the mother threw the child into the enclosure for this exact purpose, the child had to be rescued.

        Why is this hard? Did somebody really need to see the snuff film of a four year old being killed or injured by this gorilla?

        The decision that was made was the correct one. It sucks that the animal was put down. No one is happy about it. But I am happy the four year old is alive. If they’d done nothing and waited for this to become an inspiring Junglebook 2 story, things could have gone very wrong.

      • Renee says:

        I agree w you 1000%. Was a long time fan of this web site but that statement is too much! I’m shocked!!

      • Snowflake says:

        Yeah I saw that article on daily mail talking about the dads criminal history. I was thinking what does that have to do with anything? Very racist IMO.

    • Louise177 says:

      @Bridget: People either forgotten or don’t care. It really baffles me that people sympathize with the gorilla and not the child. He was dragging the child around like a ragdoll. This is a half ton animal. Kids get killed by 50lb dogs yet comments make it seem they prefer the child to be hurt than the gorilla.

  3. Goats on the Roof says:

    The zoo said they chose not to use tranquilizers because there was a fear doing so would further agitate the animal and put the child at further risk. I think it was very much a rock/hard place situation because if they hadn’t shot the animal and the child had died, there would be an even bigger uproar.

    Having said that, mom was not watching her kid and should definitely face some sort of punishment.

    • Bridget says:

      1) the dad was there too you know
      2) the kid ran off. Eyewitnesses confirmed the mom wasnt being negligent. Kids do that, even the best watched one. They were standing right in front of the exhibit and the kid slipped through everyone’s hands. How about instead asking what the hell kind of enclosure did they have that a 4 year old could jump straight into? Because you know who visits zoos a lot? Families with small kids.

      • Goats on the Roof says:

        1. News reports have referenced mom, not so much dad. If he was there, he is just as culpable.
        2. When you take your kids into dangerous situations, extra vigilance is called for. I find it hard to believe both mom and dad were doing their duty and this kid made it past three barriers into a wild animal enclosure.

      • Bridget says:

        Would you seriously call taking your children to the Zoo a dangerous situation?

      • Goats on the Roof says:


        OF COURSE I would. Not necessarily because of the animals (the dangerous ones are typically behind several enclosures, as was this gorilla, apparently), but because of the people. I’ve heard one too many “I turned my back for a minute and my kid got kidnapped” stories to ever think leaving a small child unattended–even briefly–in a place filled with strangers is a smart idea.

      • Emma - The JP Lover says:

        @Bridget …

        I live in Cincinnati. It didn’t take a second for this child to get through the barrier. He worked at it. It appears that the child got away from his mother while she was involved taking cell phone pictures of her other kids. Witnesses heard the child say over and over again that he wanted to go inside the enclosure and his mother say “no, you aren’t.’ Once all the adults around the gorilla enclosure noticed what the child was doing they started screaming of him to stop and come back, but he ignored them and just moved faster toward the edge of the enclosure. Beyond the initial shrub and wire barrier is five ft of ground and then a 15-ft drop into a moat surrounding the gorilla enclosure (he didn’t just get through the barrier and immediately fall into the moat).

        The witnesses said they heard a woman calling a child’s name while they were trying to get the kid to stop, but she didn’t seem to know it was ‘her’ child inside the barrier, which means that he may have run several feet away from her before starting his trek into the enclosure. When his mother heard the screams after the child fell into the moat she asked if he (the child) had on green pants … when the answer was “yes” the mother freaked out and said “I just felt his hand on my back pocket a minute ago!” One of the witnesses said she had to restrain ‘her’ husband from trying to get over the barrier to go in after the child. I had no idea the father of the child was there as well.

        I know all this because our local news channels are all over this story and have interviewed some of the witness on camera. I’m not exactly bashing the child’s mother because children are excellent escape artists, but we have a world class zoo in Cincinnati and they are truly concerned about the welfare of their animals and public safety. Parents have to make their children realize that a zoo is not a play park.

      • THE OG BB says:

        I have heard varying reports as to whether the dad was there or not. Thanks for the additional info Emma. Let’s take this as a lesson that if your preschooler tells you they are going to try to get in with an animal at a zoo, you believe them.

      • Colette says:

        The dad was not there according to the woman who filmed the video.The mother was alone with four kids including a baby.The mother was talking to her daughter approximately six or seven years old when the four year old slipped away.

      • Bridget says:

        Here’s part of the issue: there are so many conflicting stories at this point, that are directly contradicting. We’ve seen accounts that the dad was there, and now that he wasn’t. The accounts I’ve read directly from witnesses (and this includes the CNN report) state that the mom grabbed for him, he made his way through the bushes and fell into the moat, and that it happened in an instant.

      • HeyThere! says:

        I have read all reports and the father wasn’t at the zoo. Just the mom.

      • Zimmerman says:

        I agree with you Bridget, supervised or unsupervised, no one but an authorized individual should be able to make it into such an enclosure.

    • Rachel says:

      I agree that the parents should face some repercussions but I’m kind of concerned about the demonisation of the parents alone when it’s clear the boy must have spent some time visibly scaling the fence to get into the enclosure.

      Of course you can argue that the parents have the ultimate responsibility for their child, but why did no one else step in? Yell that there was a kid climbing in? Inform zoo personnel? I feel like anyone who was nearby who didn’t raise the alarm or stop the child when he was in the process of climbing into the enclosure also shares some responsibility for this.

      • THE OG BB says:

        I wondered the exact same thing. One article had an eyewitness who said once she realized what the boy was doing, it was too late for her to get over the barrier. If I see a child that isn’t being directly supervised do something that could potentially harm them or others I usually step in. I’m a nurse and I have a pretty gentle voice so I usually don’t get any lip back. I try to put myself in the parent’s place, but I’ve seen too many instances of people just blatantly not watching their kids and those kids hurting other children, themselves or destroying something.

      • Krysten Beasley says:

        Thank you! I live about an hour from the zoo and have been there. This was not a turn around for a second and your kid ran off situation! It took a good 5 mins or more for him to get in there. Believe me I understand why they shot him. If that was my kid I would have wanted them to do whatever they could to get the kid out safe. People were screaming and agitating the gorilla. That is when he started to drag the boy. In a blink of an eye he could have crushed him and the risk of sedating him is too risky. It takes minutes and it could have severely pissed him off. The parents should be held accountable because the zoo paid a million dollars for that gorilla! Yes you think they should make enclosures that in no way in hell could you get in but again he kept telling his mom he was going in that moat. They have his sperm so theyll be able to make babies at least and repopulate.

      • Kitten says:

        As someone who doesn’t have a child, I can tell you that it’s not always easy for an adult to grab someone else’s child in this day and age of pedos.

        Mostly, it’s nobody else’s responsibility to monitor this kid, particularly when he had TWO of his own parents present who were apparently sleeping on the job.

      • qwerty says:

        What you’re saying just proves she wasn’t paying attention to her kid for much longer than could be explained by turning around etc. But somehow you use that fact to blame *other* people for not looking after her child?

      • Mieke says:

        @Qwerty, yes, when a situation gets this bad, you step in. Because people make mistakes and you want to prevent things from getting worse. Or should the zookeepers also just stayed out of it? Not my kid, leave it be? Mom should’ve looked after her kid herself? We are a very selfish species, but we still panic when a child, even one that’s not our own, is in danger. It implies we have some very distinct need to protect our own. Even in 2016.

    • mellie says:

      I agree on all accounts. Can you even imagine if that child had been killed by that gorilla the furor?! The zoo was in a no-win situation. As for the parents (mom), I have three kids and remember taking them places when they were 3, 6 and 9 years old. I could not let my guard down for a minute with those three. Unless there is a big piece of information missing, I imagine the little guy got away from her. It happens and I’m sure she is beating herself up enough over it without having the entire world continually weigh in …much less act as if they support the life of a gorilla over a human being!

      • Carol says:

        The mother released a statement, and I think many people were unhappy that she did not express any remorse for the gorilla’s death. She told people that accidents happen and to stop judging her and she credited God for keeping her child safe. No mention of the gorilla and no accepting responsibility for anything.

      • OrigialTessa says:

        A child died in Pittsburgh fairly recently. He fell into the African Spotted Dog enclosure. It was absolutely awful. He was about 3 or 4 as well I think. Just the sweetest little thing with big glasses. I see his face in my head all the time. The one hope was that he was knocked unconscious before the dogs got to his body. In that instance, everyone blamed his mother. She was holding him up to see and I guess he wiggled loose and fell in. There’s a continuing legal battle I believe. The mother was absolutely vilified and I remember seeing her on the news and she is a broken person. There’s nothing left of her. This story has a bittersweet ending in that at least the baby lived. Stories where the baby die are things you still think about years later. RIP Harambe. I’m sorry you got messed up with us humans. None of this was your fault.

      • BRE says:

        OMG OrigialTessa! I hadn’t heard about that story and looked it but and now I’m just heartbroken. That poor boy! and I can’t even imagine the mother witnessing it and the guilt she will have for the rest of her life.

      • Mixtape says:

        Carol, I question how closely the mother was watching the child just as much as others, but the statement you reference was a personal one she made to her friends on Facebook. The family has since released an official statement, which reads, in part:
        We are also very appreciative for the expressions of concern and support that have been sent to us. Some have offered money to the family, which we do not want and will not accept. If anyone wishes to make a gift, we recommend a donation to the Cincinnati Zoo in Harambe’s name.

      • TyrantDestroyed says:

        @Carol. So the mother’s statement was basically the old “only God can judge me”?
        I am so so surprised.

      • Ange says:

        Tessa that mother was holding her kid up on a barrier he had no business standing on and because of that she lost her grip and he fell in. Because of her blatantly ignoring safety warnings her son and those dogs were killed, she SHOULD feel terrible! I can’t muster up any warm feelings towards her and I hope her legal action fails.

      • delorb says:


        So its not enough that she lost her child, now she has to get bashed for it. Jeez.

    • Mimi says:

      Agree! It is so sad that this beautiful animal was killed. While I am of the mind that Harambe meant no harm to this little boy, I believe the right actions were taken. There is no telling what might have happened to that little boy. Harambe could have injured him or worse without even meaning to. When push comes to shove, I wouldn’t choose the life of an animal over a human’s. Even if I sometimes like animals waaaay better.

    • Erinn says:

      Yeah – there’s been WAY too much piling on of the mom – to a disturbing degree – but I do think she needs to take a certain amount of responsibility as well.

      Those enclosures are built to keep people out/animals in.

      If it was THAT easy to get in – we’d have this happening weekly. It wasn’t a case of ‘I lost track of him for a second’.

      And of course ‘eye witnesses’ speak up about it – they’re going to say the parents weren’t negligent because they a) didn’t even notice the kid doing it, and probably weren’t REALLY eye witnesses who paid attention to anything before the kid was actually in the enclosure or b) are feeling guilty because they did shit all to prevent it.

      There needs to be a balance between demonizing and wiping your hands clean when it comes to the parents in this situation.

      • Goats on the Roof says:

        I was in a mall recently and ran into a VERY young child at the top of the escalator, no parents to be seen. I grabbed his hand, said let’s go find mommy, and a few minutes later, I see mom come up the escalator. “Oh, I just turned my back for a second!” A 2YO did not have time to leave a clothing section, go to an escalator, and take a ride all the way up if mom’s back was turned only for a second. What if I had been a monster and wanted to hurt the kid? Same with this kid at the zoo–parents were NOT doing what they should have been and punishment of some kind is warranted. Smiling and saying “all’s well that ends well” is not nearly enough. An animal–who was probably having a natural animal reaction to a person falling into his space–lost his life because of someone else’s negligence. Mom could do with some piling on, IMO.

      • lilacflowers says:

        And all did not end well.

        While I do not have children of my own, I often take nieces, nephews, and young cousins for days at a time. I have rules, very strict ones, that the kids and I must follow. Any child under the age of six who is with me must be holding my hand. Rather difficult for a kid to climb multiple barriers into an animal enclosure when you’ve got a grip on his hand.

        I am constantly shocked at the negligence I see with parents and their children on escalators, city streets and subway platforms and parking lots. Your four year old should not be standing on the yellow line of a subway platform leaning into the pit to see if a train is coming. Your two year old should not be running around on that platform. Your five year old should not be running up and down an escalator. And stop pushing your baby carriage out into the street into traffic while you stand on the sidewalk waiting for the light to change.

      • Anontx says:

        1. Kids are faster than you think
        2. What kind of repercussions do people want the parents to face? How does that affect the future of the kids/family? Put parents in jail and leave it kids without a parent at home? A hefty fine that might destabilize the family budget? I am not saying no repercussions at all, I am just saying: you can’t call for punishment for the parents and not think of what that entails and what the long term effects might be.

      • SusanneToo says:

        Ditto, GNAT and lilac.

      • Beatrice says:

        I think the mother deserves some piling on. This was not a case of I turned my back for a second. There is a criminal investigation now which probably won’t amount to anything but at least I hope it keeps the family from getting a fat payday from suing the zoo. If it went to trial I’d love to be on that jury!!

      • THE OG BB says:

        Lilacflowers: yeah I agree with you. I see children not being supervised all the time in potentially dangerous situations. I have no idea what the situation was at the zoo, so I cannot comment on that without all the facts. I have seen a lot of fellow parents condemning people who are criticizing the parents or mourning the gorilla and I see it as projecting. Accidents happen but I think a lot of people could do a better job of supervising their children in public places.

        I do also wonder what people want the repercussions for this mom to be.

      • Bridget says:

        The judgement here is unbelievable. @lilac I totally get what you’re saying.

        The rest of you? YES, kids do move that fast.

      • Lady D says:

        When I mention that 2-year-olds are the fastest creatures on the planet, the parents in the group just nod.

      • holly hobby says:

        When my kids were very young, i either kept them in a stroller or held onto them. I did not let them roam around in public by themselves. Yes this is totally doable – even for the slippery kids because if you have a death grip on them, how do they escape? My youngest was a squirmer. So what did we do? We bought a backpack leash that we strapped onto him. He tried to squirm out of our hands, we have the leash to keep him in place. You can debate whether that is humane or not but our goal was to make it through a family trip without losing a child or having them go where they don’t belong.

        That mom was negligent. Sorry. She should face a fine. I don’t care about destabilizing family budgets. Weren’t we taught that everything has consequences?

      • Goats on the Roof says:


        Damn straight I judge! The police have corrected media reports regarding the kid’s age. He is three! If a person’s 3YO has time to walk away, climb a fence, go through another barrier, walk through some bushes, and then finally fall 10+ feet into a gorilla enclosure, they’re being negligent parents. End of. Mom (and dad if he was there) both have a little judgment coming their way.

      • HeatherAnn says:

        I will start by saying I really don’t know how the mom behaved here and she may have been negligent in watching her kid. But I agree I am disturbed by the piling on of the mother. I also think there is a bit of a racial component to it with all kinds of news articles reporting on the father’s criminal history (how is that relevant?). I have four kids, the youngest is now 7 so past this age. But I tell you, I have had some close encounters when they were little, especially with the boys. Each time I was watching closely enough to prevent heart break, and I personally am always particularly on high alert in certain situations- but honestly I’m not sure if I would consider a zoo one of them. It is clearly a horrible, tragic situation, and it could be that the mom was negligent but the intensity of the hate is a little frightening to me. We are parents 24-7. We all make mistakes.

        Also let’s say the mom was negligent. The animal experts all seem to agree that the killing was necessary to protect the child. So should they not have saved the child’s life because the mother was negligent? I get that the point is that the mom should be held responsible, and maybe that’s true, but I agree with what the zoo did- it wasn’t that small child’s fault his life was at risk.

      • ls_boston says:

        Goats, Lilac, and holly hobby, absolutely agree with you.

        Mom deserves some piling on. Okay, so kids do move that fast. Is that a surprise? Aren’t the caretakers supposed to have defenses set up to keep these super-fast creatures from getting further than say 6-feet from you?

        All didn’t end well, even if we agree that the zoo did what they had to do to protect the child. Equally, we could say “Oh, wild animals will be wild” and decide to leave it all alone and let nature decide which way this outcome fell. (I’m not quite convinced that that’s not my vote).

        As Goats and Lilac have said : all did *not* end well. A wild animal was killed because a mom did not attend to her child. She should face repercussions for that.

      • SloaneY says:

        I agree with Lilac, et al. As a parent, you know if your children are one of those that likes to run off, and if they are, you need to act accordingly. Forced hand holding, leash, stroller. And if you can’t do that, or you can’t get them to stop the behavior, then you just don’t go certain places. Yes, even 4 year olds can follow instructions.

      • delorb says:


        I agree.

        @the usual suspects, I disagree. No one DESERVES to have a group of strangers critique their parenting skills based on one minute out of thousands. A minute they didn’t witness first hand. A minute that no one could have imagined as they planned a trip to the zoo.

    • BRE says:

      I think that some of the outrage of people is because it seems that more and more parents just don’t watch their kids, let their kids do whatever, and assume that others around need to assist in watching their children. I don’t personally have a friend that is this kind of parent (nor do I know if the boys parents are like this) but it seems that I’m always seeing kids running round stores, throwing items, climbing shelves and the parents are in another isle ignoring them. One of my first dates with my husband we were at a nice restaurant and some kid ran under our table and the parents were nowhere to be seen. When I was young (late 70s/early 80s) I used to get distracted and run off all the time so my parents used a kiddie harness on me when we went out in crowds. People thought that was abusive but it was for my own safety.

      • lilacflowers says:

        Kids running around in restaurants is so dangerous. Servers are trying to carry heavy trays full of hot items to tables and people let their kids run underfoot, tripping them.

      • THE OG BB says:

        Yeah, and when others around do step in, they scream at them to not talk to their children like that. It’s so frustrating. People do criticize those kiddie harnesses, but maybe after this that will stop. I had one in the 80s for when my parents took me to the Aquarium and I don’t think it was cruel and unusual punishment.

      • Kitten says:

        ITA, BRE and Lilacflowers.

      • Nina says:

        @lilacflowers, yes! I was in a restaurant a few years ago with a friend, and two young kids, throughout our entire meal, were running around the restaurant playing with one of those little super bouncy balls you get in grocery store vending machines. Meanwhile, their parents AS WELL AS other adult relatives, took absolutely no notice of them, and were just carrying on amongst themselves. After about 15 minutes a waiter approached the family and explained that the kids were being disruptive and could get themselves hurt. The adults nodded, and then when the waiter left, they just went right back into their conversation without reining the kids in or telling them to settle down. Unbelievable.

      • holly hobby says:

        @Lilacflowers – don’t forget to mention that if a server accidentally drops hot food on the running kids, those parents will sue the restaurant for negligence.

        Totally true that some parents do not watch their kids. I’ve chaperoned many field trips and I noticed that some parents don’t even watch their own child while they are on a trip. We went to a museum and one of the kids set off an alarm because he touched something he shouldn’t have. The mom was there!

        That same kid was also throwing rocks from the gravel pavements at the other kids. Another mom and I had to yell at him to cut it out. The mom was just laughing and going fiddle dee dee. The only time she “watched” him was when the class broke for lunch. She hand fed him or was chasing him with a fork to feed him his lunch. It ain’t cute lady. The kids were freaking 7 years old. Needless to say this same child has problems following directions in class and is just generally disruptive. This is a product of being overly loved and overly indulged. That’s something I noticed with a lot of people lately.

      • I Choose Me says:

        I don’t support the piling on of the mother but it really does grind my gears to see how disengaged some parents are these days with their kids. They’re busy on their phones or gossiping or doing f-all rather than supervising their kids. Kids esp., little kids move fast. All the more reason to keep an eye on them and discipline them where necessary.

  4. Ayra. says:

    Apparently they couldn’t tranquilize him because it would have taken too long to take effect, so they decide to shoot him.

    • Citresse says:

      Yes and from what I witnessed re- video footage, the gorilla was aggressively pulling the child through water. Animals are unpredictable creatures. Zoo animals have a history of killing their keepers. Killing the animal was, sadly, the right choice. Though doesn’t this situation make us all reconsider why certain animals must be locked up (in zoo’s) in the first place?

      • Goats on the Roof says:

        I don’t believe in zoos to begin with. Wild animals were not intended to be locked up for human amusement.

      • doofus says:

        what you said, Goats.

      • Mixtape says:

        Goats, I have such mixed feelings on the zoo issue. On the one hand, it’s hard to see such a majestic creature limited to a life in a fishbowl (albeit a pretty nice one, in this instance). On the other, his species is endangered and he was born in captivity as an important part of a worldwide breeding program. People learn about these animals and donate money to such programs when they see them in the zoo.

      • Neverwintersand says:

        Yes. I wonder, is it possible to construct spacious reservations for endangered animals, limiting their contact with non-professional caretakers to the minimum. Seing them trapped in betonated bowls is painful.

  5. Patricia says:

    What is with Kaleys caption? She’s so high school. Makes it all about herself before she gets to the larger point.

    This is a very sad story. Like goats said above, tranq dart could have set the gorilla off to violence before the drug had a chance to work. My big question is why was a little child able to get into the enclosure? That seems like a major failing of the zoo’s design.

    • Bey says:

      yeah her instagram post is way too much about herself. Woe is Kaley.

      • PrincessMe says:

        That caption pissed me off so much, this is not about her but half of it is talking about what she goes through. I’m not saying her feelings aren’t valid, but goodness, this moment is about the unfortunate incident that did not involve her. Ugh.

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      “I wear the wrong sweatpants and the whole world has something to say about it”

      She thinks mighty highly of herself, no? I have never commented on, much less noticed, her sweatpants. Way to make everything about poor you, Kaley.

    • mytake says:

      Yes! HER self-absorption was what I took away from her instagram post.

  6. Nancy says:

    The whole story is heartbreaking. It’s easy to blame the mother, but since I wasn’t there and didn’t see her actions, can’t judge. They didn’t take down the animal with a tranquilizer because it doesn’t act instantly and the child could have been hit. Sad sad and more sad. Hold on to your child’s hand tightly, I always did in these situations, like a vice grip. RIP Harambe, no more people gawking at you in confinement.

    • Taxi says:

      Too bad mom was so busy taking pics she didn’t watch her child. If your kid’s a runner, try a harness or wrist restraint when in risky situations. Mom could deflect some of the criticism she’s getting if she actually apologized & expressed some regret & accepted her own art in the incident.

  7. Birdix says:

    It’s the zoo people’s job to protect the animals from the people and the people from the animals. After the tiger getting loose at SF Zoo, every zoo should have examined each enclosure for possible ways in or out. This shouldn’t keep happening.

    • Anna S. says:

      Not parents fault, not the gorilla’s fault. Zoo is advertised and open as a family friendly venue. If a three year old can find and get over a barrier within a few minutes, it’s the zoo’s fault for not having adequate barriers in place from preventing this sort of scenario from happening in the first place. YES, it’s horribly sad and absolutely tragic that a gorilla lost his life. But have you ever seen a gorilla smash a watermelon in it’s hands within a second? The zoo had to make a split decision to save a child’s life or the gorilla’s, and I think they made the right call in that moment.

    • Taxi says:

      In SF incident, teens deliberately intruded into an off-limits area with premeditated intent to aggravate the animal by intruding on the enclosure. Well, they wanted to make a tiger angry & they succeeded. Tragic for the boy, but sometimes stupid or maliciously intended behavior has unfortunate consequences.

      • Birdix says:

        Which is what makes it so frustrating. Those were bad kids taunting the tiger (but they weren’t in an off-limits area, although maybe standing on a railing). And yet someone had complained 10 years earlier that a tiger had almost climbed out and the zoo brushed it aside. The walls 4 feet lower than recommended. So it came down to the fact that the zoo wasn’t protecting the tiger (from people and itself) or the zoo attendees. And a week or so later, a polar bear almost scaled the wall of her cage (they turned a fire hose on her), and a leopard put a hole through a temporary enclosure and stuck his paw out.
        Zoos need to be more responsible for their animals.

  8. lilacflowers says:

    Where were the parents while their four year old child climbed through several barriers, not just one, to enter a gorilla enclosure? That took some time. Zoos are not playgrounds. Those stupid morons neglected and endangered their own child and cost a beautiful animal his life. I disagree with the zoo’s decision not to press charges against those disgusting excuses for parents.

    RIP Harambe

    • Anontx says:

      Even the best, most attentive parents can lose track of their children. I read an eye witness account that said the mom turned her back for a brief moment (which is not unreasonable with a 4 year old) and the child slipped in- that once the child was in, there was nothing anyone could do to get him out. I have compassion for the parents, because we have all made mistakes. Most of us are simply lucky that our mistakes haven’t resulted in tragedy.

      • lilacflowers says:

        He went through multiple barriers, not just one. Her back was turned for a good deal longer than a brief moment and she has expressed no remorse for the death of Harambe due to her negligence.

      • SusanneToo says:

        Above, Emma, who lives in Cincinnati, said she was taking cell phone pictures, not turning away for a brief moment. Once he said something about wanting to go in she should’ve been on him like a hawk.

      • Sam says:

        Susanne: You know, his father was there too. Ever think that he got away from the father? Your sexism is showing there.

      • Colette says:

        His father was not there.Mother was alone with four kids.

    • Kitten says:

      Could not agree with you more, Lilacflowers.

      Now people are questioning the zoo? If it was that easy for kids to get into this enclosure, then why aren’t incidents like this happening all the time?

      It’s amazing to me how far people will go to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. No wonder American society is such a litigious one. SMDH.

      • Birdix says:

        It’s not either/or, it’s both. I think parents should be responsible for their kids– I’m on my kids so much about safety/respect for others that I’m probably making them neurotic. But, the zoo HAS to protect the animals, and one way is to make sure people can’t get to them. That seems like zoo 101 to me, especially, as you say, if they’ll be sued if they don’t. The zoo shouldn’t be in a position where they have to shoot animals because of flighty kids and irresponsible parents. Everyone is responsible here, zoo, parents, and even the kid.

      • TreadStyle says:

        @lilac & @kitten I totally agree. I don’t understand why our society never pressed responsibility on parents anymore, it’s like the whole culture around parenting has completely changed. Yes people are attacking her but there was never any question that that no one would press charges against her and she would not be held accountable. Instead it’s excuses and the zoo’s fault! When I am out in public places (malls, parks, ect.) kids run around and do whatever they want. I rarely hear a kid in trouble these days for acting up or running off & I believe the lack of discipline kids receive is why when minor dad says “no” they still go & do whatever they want! The kids face no consequences or punishment and the parents have a pile of excuses for why kids act this way. It’s exhausting and sad to see this is how the next generation is being raised. You can always say “it’s easy for a kid to slip away for a moment” & this statement is true unless it’s been 10 mins and your small child is gone in a dangerous (yes it’s filled w wild animals) place & u don’t even notice. So not the same thing people! He was working his way into that enclosure for some time, if you have seen the enclosure you would know this. Parents need to take responsibility, this is ridiculous. I am glad the boy is safe, but an example should be made of this situation.

    • Beatrice says:

      Thank you. Very well expressed and spot on. I wish the zoo would press charges, too. The mother should have been watching the kid. It was no news to her that he could get into mischief. Sad that a beautiful animal is dead because of her negligence.

      • Cheryl says:

        Are we prosecuting parents for all acts of destruction wrought by over active pre-schoolers now? We rarely prosecute parents when one of their kids gets ahold of one of mom and dad’s poorly secured firearms and kills a playmate, but this lady should get the book thrown at her because her back was turned at the zoo for a few minutes?

        There’s almost no price you could put on this magnificent creature. Why ruin her family for this freak accident? I have far more sympathy for her than I have for people in the other situation.

    • Snazzy says:

      Yes, I read this post this morning. Really a terrible – no win situation.
      It’s so easy to blame one person for doing the wrong thing, but in the end, I feel that in this situation, no matter what happened, it would not have been the right decision for everyone.

    • Guesto says:

      Thank you, Ainsley, for posting this, and to Amanda O’Donoughue for cutting to the chase, courtesy of her long experience with these beautiful but wild and volatile creatures.

      The zoo’s failure to ensure that access to these beautiful but wild and volatile creatures is where the blame lies, and everything else is nonsensical and, in the case of blaming the parents, seriously offensive noise.

      RIP Beautiful Harambe, so sad your carers didn’t care for you in the way they should have cared for you by protecting you, and hope you’re in a place where you can be the magnificent wild beauty you were meant to be.

  9. Palar says:

    Totally tragic situation all around.

    However the only debate there should be around this is how on earth can a zoo enclosure be allowed to be set up with dangerous animals so that a person could climb or fall into it. It’s 2016 not 1934!

    • lilacflowers says:

      Usually, there are three or four barriers on a gorilla enclosure. That kid was unattended for quite some time.

    • Merritt says:

      You can build the most secure enclosure in the world and an unattended child or stupid adult will figure out a way to get in. That is just reality.

    • Megan says:

      If the child was able to enter the enclosure, what is stopping the animals from using the same route to escape? The zoo says the enclosure meets accreditation standards so perhaps those standards need to be re-evaluated.

      • PrincessMe says:

        I was wondering the same thing. If a 4 year old was able to get in, how easy is it for the gorillas (and other animals) to get out if they wanted to?

      • Lucrezia says:

        Dropping down a sheer wall and climbing up a sheer wall are completely different things (unless you’re Spiderman).

        I could drop down a 12ft sheer wall fairly easily. You just lower yourself over the edge until you’re hanging from your hands then drop down the final few feet. But there’s no way I could climb back up again. Gorillas would have the same problem. They climb well, but they need handholds.

        On the other hand, animals can do unexpected things. Back in the 70′s Taronga Zoo in Australia released a statement saying 2 freshwater crocs had been stolen. Then they found them wandering around the zoo the next day … they’d scaled a 2.5m chain fence. They weren’t even looking for them because they were so sure they couldn’t climb.

        Because you can’t plan for the unexpected, zoos monitor these kind of incidents and continually reassess whether their barriers are good enough. Several of the zoos here in Oz have already released press-releases regarding this incident (and the recent attempted suicide-by-lion in Chile), saying they’re reviewing their procedures. I’m sure US zoos are doing the same.

      • PrincessMe says:

        @Lucrezia, I didn’t realize it was that kind of drop when I commented. I saw it afterwards and had a better understanding of the setup. My bad there.

    • Nopity Nope says:

      Except that this enclosure had been safe (read: no incidents) for 38 years until last Friday. This was one of those terrible ‘perfect storm’ situations and as many posters here have pointed out, the outcome was going to end up poorly for either the gorilla or the child. But to say the zoo didn’t take the right precautions when the exhibit had been safe for nearly 40 years feels knee-jerk to me.

  10. lisa says:

    that gorilla is a lot more rare than the 4 yr old

    zoos are prisons and shouldn’t exist

    • Mimi says:

      “that gorilla is a lot more rare than the 4 yr old”

      Are you kidding me? For no reason should the life of an animal ever be considered more important that the life of a child. I don’t think Harambe meant any harm but that doesn’t mean that little boy couldn’t have been injured or even killed. smh

      • lisa says:

        i dont believe humans are more valuable than any other species

        in fact, looking at the amount of destruction we are responsible for compared to other species, humans are a virus killing the planet

        i am very sorry this gorilla was born in prison and then murdered for no fault of his own and i do not agree that the gorilla should have been shot and i am not concerned with what happened to the boy.

      • Sam says:

        Except every other animal species values their own over all others. Why should humans be exempt from that?

      • PrincessMe says:

        Exactly, Sam. Every species protect their own.

      • Celebwatch says:

        Every species do not value their own over all others. Dogs will attack other dogs to protect their human guardians, don’t they?

        And if you consider that there are 175 000 of these *endangered* gorillas and 7 billion people, then yes they are rarer on this planet.

      • Sam says:

        Celebwatch: Nope. Ever tried getting between a female dog and her puppies? She’ll do a number on you pretty quick.

      • ls_boston says:

        Completely agree with and support lisa in her position.

        Humans number 7.5B. These lowland gorillas are 175K. So proportionally, that one human child did the equivalent damage of killing 40,000 humans. The human species is in no danger from anything but themselves.

        I won’t chastise the zoo for their call but if it were me making that call, I’d have kept the gun sheathed …

      • Kitten says:

        Except no Sam. There are plenty of animal species like hamsters, salamanders, chickens etc that cannibalize their own and would never eat a human. Not to mention polar bears, who sometimes eat their own cubs.

      • Sam says:

        Kitten: I never argued they don’t (in fact, some humans don’t treat offspring so well, but that you know). I was addressing the intruder impulse – when another species threatens the young, most species instinctively react to kill the intruder. What you are citing is an example of interspecies violence, which is a separate subject, zoologically speaking.

        ( Also, Harambe’s species is also known to sometimes commit acts of violence against unrelated young ones. So maybe we should hold the gorillas and humans to the exact same standards on this one?)

    • Pinky says:

      As controversial as what you said is, I kind of agree (about the zoo part). I don’t believe in zoos–not since the 7th grade, when I saw an agitated elephant pacing, because it was just trapped with nowhere to go. Animals in enclosures, depressed, is not entertainment for me.

      I believe in protected habitats, perhaps Safaris, if people want to see animals, but circuses with trained wild animals and zoos? Never again for me.

      That gorilla did not deserve to die in that way. It should never have been there in the first place–it should have been able to roam free or (given the poacher problem) live out its full life in a protected environment. I hope this leads at the very least to sweeping changes in how zoos are run and designed. Humanity must do better.


      • Kitten says:

        Well said, Pinky.

      • Original T.C. says:

        + 1000 @Pinky

        I do believe that the life of a child is greater than that of an animal. I really was torn about Zoo’s in the past. After this incident I have now 100% against the existence of Zoos. This was a prison for that gorilla and he died because he too could not escape the situation and was agitated by the crowd’s agitation. Birthed and murdered in a prison.

        There were two victims in this situation. I’m usually not a major pro-animal person but this really got me upset. Zoo’s should worry because the anti-Zoo movement just got a major shot in the arm.

      • I Choose Me says:


      • Neverwintersand says:

        Agree on all accounts, Pinky. Visiting local zoos and circuses was my childhood trauma. Never again. Animals need to live in their natural (or as close as you can get) habitat. We should observe them but not imprison.

    • Msmlnp says:

      That gorilla is a lot more rare than the species “Internet troll”

      • lisa says:

        show me the lie in that sentence

      • Jess says:

        Troll is exactly right. Someone is bored and needs attention and an argument! “She” knows saying she doesn’t care about an innocent child will get that attention.

      • ls_boston says:

        Well make that two trolls then.

        Innocent child and all that … what about the innocent gorilla who was keeping to the limited enclosure he was born to confinement in and still managed to get himself shot?

        You want to vilify lisa for not choosing the innocence of the party you see, but can you not see that the other party – the wounded one actually (actually, the dead one!) – was at least as innocent?

        You want to see trolls, I’ll submit that the reason that the gorillas number where they do is that people who think like you, unilaterally choose one side over another. That single minded herd mentality causes more species damage than any 1-1 could – ergo troll.

    • Beckysuz says:

      That you would speak so callously about a small child leads me to think you probably don’t have children. Or a soul. It’s horribly sad that they had to put down the gorilla. That being said, would you have preferred they watch the gorilla rip that kid apart in front of his mother?

    • Bunbun says:

      I really, really hope that you don’t have nor are responsible for any children.

  11. Ninks says:

    I can’t imagine having to make that decision. I love watching bts at the zoo shows, and one thing that always comes across is how much the zoo workers love the animals. They are devoted to taking care of them and really understand them so well. Whatever my views on zoos, I respect the people who work there. So I don’t for one second think that the decision to kill Harambe was easy or taken lightly. I also think that the zoo keepers are the people who know the most about these animals, and about this gorilla specifically. They knew exactly how much danger the child was in. They had to make a very difficult decision, very quickly.

    The questions that need to be asked is how the hell a four year old child fell into the enclosure, that’s the terrifying thing and what people really should be focusing their anger on.

    Kaley Cuoco has a really inflated sense of her own importance. Does the world care what sweatpants she wears, ever? The tribute was a nice idea, until she made it all about herself.

  12. Mia4s says:

    The idiot bystanders screaming and wailing certainly didn’t help matters and likely agitated the poor creature.

    The mother sounded not too bright in her Facebook post but that’s not a crime. The parents should be looked at but mostly they need to shut up and go away. And don’t sue. It’s your own damn fault. Period.

    • lilacflowers says:

      Actually, if they sued, the zoo could then file a counterclaim. The mother was negligent, that defeats her claim, and the zoo suffered a tremendous loss.

  13. Jegede says:

    The zoo did what they had to do.
    No matter the Tarzan storyline fantasies playing out.

    The unedited video is uncomfortable to watch
    This was a silverback male that was going to protect his environment and likely maintain dominance.

    Fact of the matter is lives are put in danger when humans go into wild animals natural habitat and when we bring them into our habitat.

    I can only imagine the reaction if the zoo had taken a chance and the gorilla had ripped that child’s head off.

  14. mila says:

    There should be no such this as a ZOO!!! It is a prison for innocent animals. They are not ours, we did not make them, so yes, I feel very sad and upset. No one should be abused. And that includes animals.

    • Angelica says:

      I agree. Zoos are not safe havens, they’re prisons meant for innocent animals who did nothing wrong except be born beautiful. I find them disgusting and very outdated.

  15. savu says:

    I read something from a zoo employee who’s worked with gorillas where she said it’s possible the gorilla could’ve hurt him completely on accident because of his sheer strength. She understood the zoo’s decision, and said tranquilizers aren’t immediate.

    Instead of getting into the quick decision-making and the few seconds it probably took for the kid to get away from his mom, she says that’s all irrelevant. She said there’s no reason the kid should’ve gotten into the enclosure, ever. And that’s their fault.

  16. Merritt says:

    Kaley Cuoco wasn’t paying tribute. She was using the tragedy for attention.

    • OrigialTessa says:

      This. She also doesn’t know how to punctuate or structure a sentence because she called the gorilla senseless and horrendous. Cannot stand her.

    • Lucy2 says:

      Agreed- I’ve seen others use this as an opportunity to share information on organizations that help animals in the wild, instead she used to complain about people criticizing her social media.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Ding, ding, ding. I used to think she was cute and harmless but her narcissism and constant ‘look at me’ antics have changed my mind.

  17. OrigialTessa says:

    My only thought is that if it was my kid in there, I would be begging for them to shoot the gorilla. There is of course a larger conversation to be had here, but in that moment they chose to save the little boy, and I think they made the right choice.

    On the plus side, the attention this story has brought to the inhumanity of zoos and the nightmare of captivity hopefully means Harambe didn’t die in vain. The antiquated amusement of seeing live animals in tiny cages is being called into question, and as a society maybe we’re moving away from that.

  18. Lambda says:

    If the kid ended up there, the parents are responsible. If you decide to procreate, take care that your little creature doesn’t endanger others. I don’t care how stressful or hard it is, it’s on you.

  19. Bettyrose says:

    Didn’t something similar happen like a week ago at a different zoo? And of course the Yellowstone incident resulting in the death of a baby bison. A law is clearly necessary here. If your meddling or negligent behavior results in the death (or need to euthanize) an animal in a zoo/national park, etc., there will be steep fines and heavy community service. I don’t believe in jail time. Our for-profit prisons are already bursting at the seams, but people need to be held accountable for this kind of irresponsible behavior.

    On a side note, why is the media repeatedly only blaming the mother?

    • Sara says:

      The family is black so the media dug up the dad’s criminal history and they’re blaming both the parents and demanding they be investigated by CPS. The mom is a daycare worker and the daycare had to shut down it’s website due to harassment. I read an article today about other white kids who fell in zoo enclosures (I guess it happens somewhat frequently?!?!?!) and they never had this kind of harassment. I’m also seeing a lot of really racists memes popping up. It’s just sick.

      • THE OG BB says:

        Yeah because the dad’s criminal history is totally relevant to this situation. SMH. I saw one comment saying they shot the wrong gorilla and I was done for the day. The knee jerk reaction would have been the same regardless of the race of the parents, but a lot of the follow up has been racially charged.

      • Tillie says:

        ITA and am surprised that I had to scroll down this far to see any mention of how race plays into the response to this incident.

        White child = Grieving FAMILY, What is wrong with the Zoo that the enclosures weren’t sufficient to keep out a preschooler we need to build more infrastructure to prevent this senseless TRAGEDY?!?

        Black child = It’s all the (single) MOTHER’S fault, she was too busy with her cell phone and million other children, put her in JAIL

        I see this over and over in animal-related incidents. White Americans are still more willing and able to empathize with another *species* than see themselves in a Black face.

      • Mia4s says:

        @Sara in fairness most of those other incidents did not involve having to kill the animals (the lion incident in Chile being the exception). Also in several there was no video, and child endangerment charges were sought. The story became “aren’t animals amazing!” rather than “idiot humans”. Not that surprising.

        If anyone is interested there is video on YouTube if the two other incidents in which children fell into gorilla pens. One involved a female gorilla who picked up and protected the child, and the other a male silverback who simply sat near the boy and was frightened away when the child cried. The behaviour of the animals in those cases is very different, which helps explain the (admittedly horrible) decision in this case.

    • lower-case deb says:

      weren’t there also two lions who had to be put down because a suicidal man deliberately jumped inside the lion enclosure so the lion could kill him?

      certainly the rangers didn’t realize it at the time, but what a waste of two lions’ lives.

      i wonder what happened to the man now. i hope he is getting the help he needs. to even contemplate a gruesome death as suicide, he wasn’t in a good place at all.

      also, a European zoo that killed a juvenile giraffe because it’s too big and strenuous on the zoo?

      • bettyrose says:

        Lowercase Deb – Yeah, that’s the other incident I was thinking about. I think that news is part of the reason I was so enraged by this one. They happened so close together.

    • here's Wilson says:

      About two years ago something similar happened at the zoo in my city. A mother had placed her young child of about 3 on a wall over looking a painted dog exhibit and dropped him as he squirmed. The dogs attacked and killed the child while families stood there helplessly. The animals were put down in the aftermath and that particular exhibit has been closed permenetly I believe.

      I agree with other posters here that we shouldn’t have zoos period. It’s horrible for the animals and this type of injury/death happens all to frequently.

      • Neverwintersand says:

        It’s really the truth. the zoos in the US or Western Europe are at least funded properly. If you had seen the poorly managed zoo in Kiyv, Ukraine or local traveling zoos/circuses you woul be horrified. :(

    • Kitten says:

      The Yellowstone incident was really sad to me. Those people had their heart in the right place, they just weren’t properly educated.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        The Yellowstone incident infuriated me. When you drive into the park, they give you materials telling you to stay away from the bison. Those idiots probably had the pamphlets in the front seat while they were loading the bison into the back. People need to learn to stay clear of animals and to pass that knowledge and respect onto kids.

      • Nopity Nope says:

        I’m with lilac – that was pure willful ignorance on the part of those people. Read the damn signs and follow the rules or stay out of the park, SMH

      • Kitten says:

        I guess I should have researched more because clearly I didn’t know the full story. I thought they put the baby in the back of their car because it was sitting by itself on the side of the road and they worried it could get hurt.

        It seemed like an innocent mistake made by people who don’t know much about animal behavior.

    • Frosty says:

      I agree, to an extent – but the Yellowstone and Cincinnati Zoo incidents aren’t comparable.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Frosty, their comparable to the degree that innocent animals had to be killed because of dumb humans. If we had a culture of prosecuting the humans involved, people might think differently.

      • Kitten says:

        @Bettyrose-The people involved with the bison incident were fined for it.

        But ITA with your comments.

      • Frosty says:

        I take your point Bettyrose. In the case of the zoo though I’d favor the enclosure be better guarded to keep watch on the crowds than imposing a fine on an individual, after some horrible incident.

  20. Kate says:

    The parents should be in jail right now for neglect. This isn’t a situation where they looked away for one second and their kid fell in. The child told them he was going to go swim in the gorilla enclosure. They ignored him. He ran off, they didn’t notice. He made his way through multiple obstacles, they still didn’t notice. This wasn’t a split second thing, if they’d been looking after their child properly they’d have had multiple opportunities to stop him. Forget the gorilla, their child told them he was going to go jump into a great big hole in the ground. Even if there was no animals down there, he could have cracked his skull open or shattered his legs or broken his neck or back.

    It’s like being in a store and your child telling you they’re going to go to the parking lot and jump in front of a car. If you shrug that off then fail to notice your kid running out of the store and into the parking lot, you’re not remotely fit to be a parent. Making some sort of attempt at keeping your child alive is the absolute bare minimum of parenting, and these two couldn’t even manage that.

    The zoo should sue them for the cost of the gorilla. Not because they could actually hope to get even a tiny percentage of the incredibly high value of that animal back, but because these idiots don’t even understand what a terrible thing they’re responsible for. Maybe going bankrupt would teach them a lesson.

  21. Sam says:

    People do not realize that even IF Harambe was trying to protect the child, he could still really hurt him. Male silverbacks are insanely strong and there have been cases of them harming humans or other animals not through malice, but simply because they tried to “play” and forgot their own strength. The video of him dragging the boy makes that very clear. He didn’t need any bad intent to hurt the boy, but he still could have.

    I do not blame the mother, at least not right now. I have two small children, and yes, they can totally get away from you that quickly. Most of the people attacking her that I know are childless and simply don’t believe it could happen, whereas a lot of parents are more sympathetic. That being said, when I take my kids someplace where it would be genuinely dangerous to wander off, I do use a harness for them precisely because I never want to wind up on the news.

    I personally take the opinions of actual scientists and primate specialists, the vast majority of whom are supporting the zoo, over the opinions of Penny from BBT.

    • Chris says:

      I think it was a tragedy. I am sad that Harambe was killed-but I also understand why that decision was made. Today I read about the death of the little boy in the wild dog exhibit and see why the choice was made. That day the zoo staff did not have enough time to save the boy and make a the choice between animal and child. Harambe may not have killed this boy but they didn’t want to find out the hard way.

      These parents are lucky they did not have to watch their child die like the parents of the other boy. I am shocked at how many people are furious at the parents. Kids are small and fast and can be gone in a split second. If they run right and you look left to search for them they have more time to put distance inbetween you. I am not 100% sure of the layout of the gorilla enclosure or the area around it but if there were bushes and he crawled in it would be hard to see him. The parents would have also been trying to keep an eye out for their other 3 children if I understand the situation correctly. I also heard the mother was putting children in a stroller when this happened. I think there was a failure to have the area secured enough and a failure on the parents to keep their child close but they will have to live with that regret and shame. The staff at the zoo will also have deal with the grief of losing an animal that they cared for.
      I am guilty of taking my kids to the zoo while not being really comfortable with that life for what should be wild animals. Hopefully this can put a spotlight on the issue and spark a larger debate on confining animals to zoos. I also hope that these people do not sue the zoo. I think that would be deplorable.

      • Lady D says:

        It took that child so much longer than a split second. Much longer. The mother was negligent and the gorilla died. She is very lucky her negligence didn’t cost her her child.

  22. vanessa says:

    That’s why i hate zoo’s, they shouldn’t even exist ! animal were not created to be caged as a form of entertainment ! . And I have way more compassion towards animals than humans these days.

  23. Luca76 says:

    Sad about the gorilla. But the way the family is being talked about when it was obviously not intentional and a series of awful incidents of bad luck disgusts me. People don’t understand why tranqs weren’t used but it’s been repeatedly said that tranqs could have taken hours to be effective and the gorilla would have been more dangerous once sedated and there you have your answer. I get sad when I think of a zoos and seeing a trapped animal on display but I still don’t value an animal’s life over a child’s.

  24. ItDoesntReallyMatter says:

    These celebrities must not have kids. I am raising two boys and when they were four they could climb anything and they were fast! That gorilla should have been behind glass. I blame the zoo for not keeping the kids safe.

    If my child had fallen and was being dragged around I would have shot that gorilla myself in a heartbeat without an ounce of guilt.

    How can anyone say the zoo should have risked that beautiful little boy’s life? None of these pinheaded celebrities really know that the gorilla wasn’t going to kill that little boy. They would rather see a dead child than a dead gorilla. Wow.

    • Lady D says:

      Over 30 years without an incident at that zoo. Inspected and accredited yearly.
      For the record, if the gorilla had been dragging my child, I would have shot it too. I think anybody would.

  25. Beckysuz says:

    While it is very sad they had to kill the gorilla, at the end of the day if it’s the kid or the gorilla, you have to save the kid. And for people to be sending the mother death threats..well that’s just crazy. Little kids are sneaky devils and can get away in mere seconds. It’s very easy to judge all involved, but the zoo made what they thought was the best decision based on their extensive knowledge of the animal and its behavior. I’m sure they didn’t want to put the gorilla down, but thought it was the only way to make sure the child lived. And yes it’s a terrible choice to have to make, but 4 year old child> gorilla every time.

    • vanessa says:

      yeah because humans that are destroying every single thing in this planet are above animals right ?

      • Beckysuz says:

        I’m not trying to make sweeping generalizations about humanity vs the environment/animals. I’m simply addressing this situation and the life of this little boy. If it is a choice then you save the kid. This a tragedy all around and it’s sad it came down to that choice, but I’m baffled by some of the cold and heartless posts here. I have to assume that you don’t have children.

      • Kitten says:

        Philosophically I agree with Vanessa, but I also completely understand why they put the child’s life first.

    • Lady D says:

      I was wondering yesterday if the parents would be receiving death threats, then I glanced at some TMZ comments.

  26. realitycheck says:

    There are 7 billion of us! Stop with putting humans above everyone else! One day we are going to wake up and realize that we have wrecked this world and that day is coming soon.

    These kids that we are making won’t see half the animals and nature that we have because we always justify killing and wrecking everything nature gave us.

    Precious four years old… sure precious beautiful extinct creature is more like it.

  27. CidySmiley says:

    Everytime I think of this I want to cry. My dad was a zoologist and we would spend weekends as kids and teens going to the habitat and helping out with the animals. I’ve met many gorillas. They’re amazing creatures, smart, and funny. But they are dangerous. They are very strong and don’t know their strength. I wish there had been a better way for things to work out. I wish they didn’t have to shoot him, but I understand why. It doesn’t take away the hurt.

  28. Neal says:

    Was there another option than the gorilla being euthanized? Probably not, but the parents are culpable. Kids do get away from their parents all the time but this doesn’t absolve them of any responsibility toward what happened. Their mistake took a life, they’re just fortunate it wasn’t their child’s.

    RIP Harambe

  29. lower-case deb says:

    as of 2015, there are less than 900 gorillas worldwide, which included Harambe.

    i hope that the family will stop being vilified, or jailed or bankrupted. this is truly a tragic accident that unfortunately has a very high cost.

    if any “revenge” need to be exacted, both the zoo and the family will have to find a way to now channel their fortunate circumstance into conservation.

    the mother said that God saved their son, and i welcome it. perhaps there is a purpose of that salvation, for the family to now devote some part of their life (not all, perhaps, but some part) to the conservation of Gorillas and perhaps just conservation in general

    one other thing: both parents are there, but in true sexist move, the father was somewhat absolved as a helpess bystander while the mother is apparently the wicked witch.

    i hope that Harambe has not given his life in vain. if there’s any truly innocent one here: it is Harambe only.

    is it true that Harambe was just newly transfered to Cinci Zoo from a different zoo where he had spent most of his life, because the transfer was supposed to provide him with a better living condition? such a series of unfortunate events.

    • lower-case deb says:

      crap: i meant unfortunate circumstance.
      realized too late of the mistype; couldn’t edit by this time.

      btw, i have not read any further news about the boy. last he was brought to hospital. i hope he is making good recovery. that video was very hard to watch.

    • Lucrezia says:

      I agree with your basic gist, but (just because I’m pedantic) Harambe was a Western lowland gorilla: there are about 100,000 of them. Still definitely endangered, but not anywhere near as critically endangered as the mountain gorilla.

      Changes the conversation a bit I think. Since there’s only 900 mountain gorillas, losing just one could be the final straw that makes the population too small/inbred to recover. At that point I’d be sympathising with the rabid evironmentalists. But that’s not the case here. It’s different for the lowland gorilla; the zoo breeding programmes tend to end up with surplus males.

      I think what I’m trying to say is: human child > animal 99.99% of the time. But I can imagine the odd circumstance where I’d vote species > single human child.

      • lower-case deb says:

        @Lucrezia, thank you for the correction. for one thing i am glad to hear it and the other circumstances around breeding programs.

        yes indeed i do agree with you as this is the case being a lowland gorilla. perhaps this is too, what prompted the actions of the zoo. in the balance of lives they have weighed it with a heavy heart.

    • Lady D says:

      I would call the child innocent also. It’s not a 3-year-old’s fault.

      • Celebwatch says:

        I believe he is 4 and yes he does share *some* blame as well. Clearly he was disobeying his mother. Even at 3 kids know when they are misbehaving, unless their parents just haven’t instilled any discipline at all. In which case they are biting other children, running wild, etc.

      • Susan says:

        Okay celebwatch, not to be argumentative, but 3/4 year olds don’t have fully developed brains and if he hasn’t had proper discipline and or parenting in his life (not commenting, just stating a fact) how does he know he’s doing wrong? we don’t even know if he’s been in preschool or had any outside influence on his life. How does he know he’s disobeying his parents when we don’t know anything about his parents? I hesitate to toss around the term “Blame” on a toddler.

      • lower-case deb says:

        i am perhaps not very clear before.

        in the context of my discussion, i am talking about the adults in the situation (yes even Harambe is adult–over 12 years old in their case–although of different species).

        i’m just responding to the frame of discussion that take this incident as having three parties “blamed” for child endangerment ( the argument started with the “A Child Has Fallen into an Enclosure and….”):
        the parents for being neglectful,
        the zoo for being neglectful,
        and Harambe for being too aggressive.

        and as people are passing blame around, i was arguing that Harambe should not be blamed at all (i have read people saying “if only he was gentler, like the female gorilla who returned a baby to a mother, ….”), but that he was “given” the heaviest punishment (to put it crudely: he was sentenced to death for being aggressive).

        that is why i lament that from the beginning the parents are being vilified and threatened and it have since snowballed to cringeworthy proportions. i will try to explain (first apologies for my english)

        the gorilla population is endangered mostly because of poachers, and which is why Cinci Zoo and other zoos like it do important work in preserving the species. and in this case, i understand that the parents should not be shouldering the sin of the poachers. but this is also why i argue that it is better to channel all society’s angerous energy to instead give encouragement. rather than beat them to submission, make them scared, jail them, fine them to bankruptcy, it is better to channel this miracle of their child’s life into conservation of this endangered animal.

    • Ange says:

      Considering harambe didn’t rate a decent mention in their statement I highly doubt they’re going to be as selfless as you describe.

  30. Sara says:

    As for the gorilla ‘holding hands’ with that little boy… A couple of months ago there was a viral picture on facebook of a male kangaroo ‘protecting’ his dead mate and her joey. A bunch of people were like, oh the kangaroo family is grieving! How sweet! Then some zoologist guy writes an article like no sorry guys, male kangaroos are really violent rapists and that male kangaroo probably killed the mom kangaroo trying to have sex with her and the baby is just trying to nurse because it doesn’t realize it’s mom is dead. Kangaroos are not people but it’s sweet you all are projecting your human feelings on animals.

    If they hadn’t shot that gorilla and it had killed the little boy, I’m pretty sure they would have shot him anyway and then it would have been too late. It’s a terrible situation and it doesn’t end well for anyone. But people who don’t think the life of another human matters should ask themselves what course of action they would like to be followed if it were themselves or their child in the same situation. Personally, if it had been my kid I would have shot that animal myself. All my love for anything goes out the window when the life of my kid is on the line.

    And it’s really REALLY sad how the whole thing because racist in less than 24 hours. I read an article today that detailed how many people/children have fallen in animal enclosures and it was surprisingly common.

  31. Isa says:

    I think seeing your child almost die is punishment enough.
    As the mother of a extremely fast and impulsive child I can sympathize. You turn your back for one second and your kid runs off. You start searching immediately but your kid has gone in the opposite direction and then you’re even further away. It’s an awful feeling and my kid has never ended up in a gorilla enclosure, I can’t even imagine the panic.

  32. meme says:

    I completely blame the parents. They weren’t watching their child. It didn’t take a second for that kid to get in the gorilla’s enclosure. It’s not the zoo’s fault because if the fence/gate was “so easy to get through”, other kids would have done this too. Have they? No.

    • Kitten says:

      That’s the thing…I completely understand how some kids can be impulsive and I absolutely believe that all it takes is a second for them to be out of your eyesight but this is a F*CKING ZOO and a gorilla enclosure. Like, if you (and I mean BOTH parents) are aware that your kid is prone to running off, maybe you keep an eye on him in a potentially dangerous environment? Maybe hold his hand or keep him close to your side?

      It’s not the time to become complacent or distracted.

      Another option: maybe just don’t take your kid to the zoo.

      • Sam says:

        But there’s nothing in the public record that indicates that this child had a history of running off or acting out. Maybe it was his first trip to the zoo? Maybe the mother was distracted for a second by the 9 month old she also had with her? Maybe she requested his FATHER to watch him?

        I try to do prep talks with my kids before we go to a new place, and I explain what will be there and how I expect them to behave. But I also get that a small child is a small child and I can’t expect them to adhere to the rules all the time. And I’ve been in this situation. I’ve been holding my daughter’s hand when my son was in the sling and spit up, and I let go of her hand for a second to wipe my son, and by the time I looked up, she’s almost halfway down the block with my husband chasing her. It really, genuinely can happen that fast. I do think people without children don’t fully appreciate this type of situation.

        I think people are reading a great deal into this situation that isn’t there now. We don’t know if the kid had a history of running off, we don’t know what distracted the mother, we don’t know the role of the father, etc. A lot of judgments are being made off presumptions.

      • Kitten says:

        Sam-And you’re giving the parents a LOT of allowances based on presumptions and unknowns. Not really any different than what others are doing, just the opposite side of the fence.

        I don’t think the parents should be publicly eviscerated and I think death threats etc are disgusting but I DO blame the parents. Sure, maybe it was simply a terrible, unfortunate accident and not parental negligence but it doesn’t change the fact that they are ultimately responsible for that child. It’s not the zoo’s responsibility and it’s not onlookers’ responsibility to babysit someone else’s kid.


        And just because I don’t have kids doesn’t mean I don’t understand how difficult it can be to monitor them and I find that accusation rather patronizing, frankly.

      • Sam says:

        Kitten – it isn’t patronizing to point out that if you don’t have children and don’t interact with them routinely, you are a lot less likely to have experience with the bolting behavior that a lot of small children will do at some point, and that you might not appreciate how a parent can do every single thing “right” and still experience a bolting.

        And your statement above mine did levy a lot of blame at the parents. Suggesting “don’t take them to the zoo” is patronizing to me. Zoos are often strongly geared towards small children and court those families. And small children can bolt absolutely anywhere – this one just happened to be in a zoo.

        And maybe it’s because I’m a lawyer, but that’s not how responsibility works. If a parent does everything right and an accident still happens, I don’t assign blame to the parents. There can be blameless situations (although I would question why a 3 year old was able to breach the barrier. My local zoo uses solid barriers that you’d have to scale, which a small child would struggle with.) I think many people here simply can’t accept that maybe there isn’t really a party to blame here.

      • holly hobby says:

        Why would kids running off be in the “public record?” That doesn’t make sense. Is running off a misdemeanor or felony? Fact of the matter is as a parent, you know your kid. If you have a squirmer you apply the death grip in public at all times. Or if that doesn’t work, you buy a backpack leash! Sorry.

      • Sam says:

        Holly: if the child had a history of non-compliance, that would change the situation. However, my point is that we have No clue if this little boy had a history of this stuff. Maybe this was his first zoo trip and he genuinely didn’t understand the situation. My response was to Kitten, who was making a great deal of presumptions in this case. Most people are making presumptions in order to try to figure out some way to put blame on this mother as opposed to maybe accepting the situation as a blameless tragedy.

      • Celebwatch says:

        I guess I’m just different in not giving myself or other parents a pass. Or their kids. If my kid is bolting I assume it’s both my fault and my kid’s. Mostly mine. How could I be doing everything right if he’s bolting? That just doesn’t make sense. There’s always another precaution one should or could have taken.

        If something of this nature happens to a family I assume the parents feel some guilt. Wouldn’t you?

        That being said, I think it’s mostly the zoo’s fault that they had a breachable exhibit in the first place.

      • Sam says:

        Holly: that’s not very true, though. I’ve worked with kids a lot in my life, and I can tell you with certainty that bolting is not evidence of bad parenting. Some children are very adventurous and curious, whereas others are more cautious. It has little to do with parenting and much more to do with the personality of the child. A parent can take precautions and a child can still bolt. Sure, there’s the option of a kiddie harness, which I do now, but people actually claim those are abusive (google it, seriously). I am not willing to set blame with this mother right now, given that we know almost nothing about her, her home, or her son. Those who do blame her to doing so because of (IMO) general misanthropy or as a defense mechanism.

        I do agree with you that a barrier should not be breachable by a small child. Although that exhbit has been around for over 30 years and this is the first breach they’ve had. So I wonder exactly how it happened.

      • Kitten says:

        @Sam. PLEASE I taught K-9 for several years. Try being solely responsible for a classroom full of kids and then come preach to me. Sorry but it doesn’t take giving birth to understand how impulsive kids can be–most people learn that within seconds of watching a small child.

        In short, you’re bending over backwards to defend the parents which is certainly your right but spare me the sanctimony. “Misanthropy or defense mechanism”? Oh well thank you for the unsolicited and completely inaccurate diagnosis, but really some of us simply think the parents failed. It’s not all that complicated and it’s certainly not symptomatic of some deep-seeded hatred of the human species.

        There are numerous reports of the child literally asking to play in the gorilla pen. If that wasn’t a warning to the parents that he might try to actually get into the pen, then I don’t know what is. Repeating that it was an unpreventable accident over and over again doesn’t suddenly make it so. There were plenty of verbal cues and warnings for the child’s parent(s) to be extra-vigilant in that situation.

        Conveniently, you ignore such details then turn around and claim that I’m being presumptuous.

        Also, because you’re a lawyer you understand the word “responsibility” better than the rest of us? Mmmkay.

      • Sam says:

        KittenL Try again. Teaching is a controlled setting and environment. I’m sort of surprised that you would compare that to having a child in a non-controlled setting such as as a zoo, which stimulation is far higher.

        Also, my background is in child psychology, so let me point out another flaw in your argument – K starts at age 5 to 6. There is a VAST developmental difference between a 3 year old and 5-6 year old. The largest difference is that generally speaking, children under age 4 do not have a concept of risk or danger, whereas by the time they start school, they generally do. Bolting as a behavior is most common among the 2-4 age group. It’s less common in the 5 and above set, which is what you dealt with.

        You’re grasping at straws to try to blame somebody for this because you feel for the gorilla. Which, okay, I get, but it’s still illogical. Multiple witnesses also stated that when the boy said he wanted to play with the animals, the mother admonished him and told him no. And I get that. Small children routinely make outlandish statements and imagine things, because 1.) their imaginations are active and 2.) they naturally test boundaries. My kids have said outlandish stuff or said things where I had to correct them. This is exceptionally rare case in which the child actually followed through. Plenty of small children identify with the animals in zoos and want to get closer to them, but how many do this? This particular exhibit has been open for over 30 years from my understanding, and this is the first event of its kind. Clearly, children are not routinely trying this, despite liking the animals. This boy is clearly a very exceptional and rare case.

        Again, you’re really reaching for blame here, and you’re just digging a deeper hole by doing it. The witness accounts all state that the mother 1.) repeatedly stated he couldn’t get any closer to the animals, 2.) turned momentarily to attend to a baby she had with her and 3.) the boy darted into the exhibit within a few seconds. If you genuinely believe that to be negligence, then you really need to reassess.

  33. Sars says:

    The Cincinnati zoo does amazing conservation work. Everyone complaining about the existence of zoos fails to see their importance in society. Zoos are one of the last strongholds in preventing complete animal extinction. Until you figure out how to stop poaching and habit encroachment, STFU.

    • Sam says:

      People don’t make the distinction between the nasty, roadside “zoos” that you find in a lot of places and large, modern conservation centers. They also don’t realize that a huge amount of zoological knowledge comes from zoos.

      Ideally, I’d love for zoos to not be necessary and for the animals to live in their natural habitats. But in the case of lowland gorillas, the wild population is under assault. They are poached constantly because people believe that different body parts have medicinal or tribal values. There have been a lot of cases of people who’ve tried to protect them being murdered (Diane Fossey, hello?). As bad at it might be, and as much as I don’t like it, there is probably a need to keep a captive population going, since wild extinction might be a strong possibility in the future. Those who rail against all zoos should consider the alternatives.

  34. Frosty says:

    Under the circumstances the zoo really didn’t have a choice – tranks would take too long and a gorilla could have easily killed the child, even without meaning too. It’s just so sad, this rare, beautiful being killed for something entirely not his fault. OTOH the mom hate is just out of control. Some (hysterical, screechy) people seem to think a 4 year old is as easily controlled as a handbag. They aren’t, and mom did nothing wrong.

  35. C says:

    As great as it is that Kaley is so passionate about animal rights she seems to be pretty overzealous at times. She posted something on her Instagram not too long ago about a couple of lions that were shot because a man, in an apparent suicide attempt, entered the exhibit hoping to be killed. I think she referred to the man as a moron. As sad as it was what happened to the lions it’s tone deaf and insensitive to call the guy a moron without fully understanding his mental state.

    Link to her post:

  36. QQ says:

    Ya’ll are really telling me that your fellow men and yourselves are really here threatening parents, putting their record out and holding vigils and racist memes over an animal vs A HUMAN CHILD?!?!?!?!? Ok you guys, Deuces, I can’t F*ck with this today

    • Sam says:

      It’s also going crazy over the mother’s alleged “failure” to keep her eyes on the child when multiple reports confirm that his FATHER was also there. Maybe the mother entrusted him to watch the kid, and the kid slipped away from HIM? The sexism is amazing here as well. And the racism too (like bringing up the father’s criminal record, which has nothing at all to do with the current situation).

    • Almondjoy says:

      Thank you.

    • Beckysuz says:

      Yeah I’m right there with you QQ. I try not to get into fights with strangers on CB, but this particular thread is making my blood boil. Not for a second can I comprehend the mindset of a person who would prefer an innocent little boy get torn to pieces so an animal can live. I like animals too. But no…just no. I’m out

      • Sam says:

        It’s sad for me to say, because I consider myself very pro-animal rights, but there is a sizable segment of animal rights people who are genuine misanthropes who have a general disgust for humanity. It’s a thing.

        There’s the thing: humans are animals too. We might think we’re not, but we have most of the same instinctive urges that other species do. And one of the strongest is to protect the young and vulnerable among us. It’s among the strongest documented behaviors among all animal species. We fight to save our own, particularly children. Of course if a child is perceived as being threatened, we will act to kill the threat and save the child. Just like any other species on the planet will. The difference is that we can more efficient means of killing – but that doesn’t change the basic premise. But some people act as though humans should not engage with these impulses, but they’re a-ok for other animals.

      • QQ says:

        Say that twice Beckysuz

        Sam, I too am a HUGE Animal Lover but I honestly cannot F*cking engage with this discourse in any capacity, to for any kind of a second go around posturing like the professionals in this took the wrong actions and let’s sue the parents and these bleeding hearty hashtags I really cannot do It, It’s making me really really angry the intolerable PETA whiffs im catching here is beyond

        Also This http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-racism-found-cincinnati-zoo-saga-article-1.2655860?a

        also ON TOPIC : F*ck Kaley Cuocco and her sperm brows

      • Tourmaline says:

        @Sam love your sentiments here. The phrase “misanthropes” has also been running through my mind regarding this situation.

    • Désirée says:

      “White human supremacy is the conscious or unconscious belief or the investment in the inherent superiority of some, while others are believed to be innately inferior.” Michael Eric Dyson.

      Now replace some words and reads this:

      Human supremacy is the conscious or unconscious belief or the investment in the inherent superiority of human animals, while others are believed to be innately inferior.

      • Aida says:


      • BettyD says:

        “HERC: Carolyn, all through human history, we’ve been wrong about equality and we thought we were right. “All men are equal, except slaves, obviously.” “Oh, no, wait – all men are equal except black ones, obviously.” “No! No, wait – all people are equal except women, obviously.” Look, are you not at all curious about what we’re still getting wrong? And don’t you think there’s a good chance it’s “All lives are equal except animals, obviously”?
        CAROLYN: That’s an eloquent argument.
        HERC: Thank you.
        CAROLYN: I mean, it’s childish, specious, and the bit where you compare animal rights with universal suffrage is frankly offensive, but it’s superficially eloquent.”

        Cabin Pressure- “Ottery St. Mary”

    • THE OG BB says:

      I’m sad for Harambe, he was just doing his thing and little Mowgli decided to pay him a visit. Once the kid was in there, it was too late, a 400 pound gorilla is too unpredictable to gamble with in that situation. I wasn’t there and I have no idea if the mother was being careless or not. I do know some people can be a little too cavalier in watching their children. However what’s done is done. Yes human error in some way or another caused the poor gorilla to be killed but this is a living breathing human child we are talking about and his life should not be discredited either. He’s four, kids don’t think about consequences.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Right? Sigh.

  37. Almondjoy says:

    This was an unfortunate situation all the way around. It was a no win. Either way, a precious life would have been lost 😔 I’m just so sorry that this happened.

    As for Kaley’s message, I don’t like the tone of it. And for those saying they don’t care about the child and that the gorilla’s life was more valuable how INSENSITIVE can a person be?? Honestly I think the child was doing what comes natural to children, which is to be inquisitive and explorative and daring. Same with Harambe. He was doing what came natural to him. Just so heartbreaking.

  38. BFDL says:

    I only thought the weirdos at PETA believed animals were above children. I had no idea others had the same idiotic mindset. I do think race has a lot to do with the sudden uproar. It was a pretty tame, entertaining story and suddenly everyone with a social media account wants to be an activist.

    I feel so sorry for this family because once their race was revealed the gloves came off. I hope they can find peace for making a simple error.

    And the zoo should definitely be held liable.

    • Almondjoy says:

      Omg you spoke the words that I didn’t want to type. Once the family’s race was revealed the gloves came off.

      • Lady D says:

        Right after their race was revealed, TMZ had his criminal record up. So did the DM but they also mentioned that daddy has cleaned up his act in the past 4 years, and has become a loving engaged father to their 4 children.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Yes and it’s sickening. I soon as I realised the mom was black I thought oh lawd the media and twitter is gonna go apeshit. A bunch of hateful people have just gotten the extra impetus they needed to get really nasty.

    • Frosty says:

      Exactly what you said. OTOH, I recall the sickening internet attacks on the parents of the Sandy Hook kids to shut down reform, because GUNZ. The internet tends to act as a force multiplier of insane opinions.

      • Tourmaline says:

        Not to mention the sickening plethora of websites claiming Sandy Hook was a false flag operation and those kids never really died. It makes me SICK to live in the same world with people who promote those insane and cruel views.

      • Frosty says:

        @Tourmaline Yes that as well – the level of vitriol is identical, only the focus is different. It’s like some people have lost all perspective and empathy.

      • Lady D says:

        Seriously? People actually don’t believe Sandy Hook happened? I wonder if they think what happened in Dunblane, Scotland was a myth too? No wonder I prefer animals to most people.

    • QQ says:

      COME THROUGH with this truth! BFDL *leaving before I get full C*nty*

    • Tourmaline says:

      The Daily Mail coverage–heavy on how many kids the family has, the dad’s criminal record (in the distant past), etc. Not hard to see what the subtext is.

    • THE OG BB says:

      I get if you want to talk in the abstract, but this is a living, breathing four year old boy with a personality and likes and dreams and friends and family. His life matters. I’m sad for the gorilla who was just chilling when this little guy came splashing in, but some of the comments are off the wall. And agree about the racism… disgusting.

  39. Lbliss says:

    Maybe you should let an expert speak about this tragedy since none of you are qualified to speak on behalf of a primate.t


    I think the parents should donate to the zoo, bc negligence from the parents is what killed his beautiful creature. It also would have been nice to see the zoo exercise alternative measures at least a second before killing the animal.

    • Frosty says:

      Donate to the zoo? Why? And was it really negligence (LOL) of the parents that caused Harambe’s death, or was it the way the enclosure was set up, so that a small excited child *could* squeeze through at a moment when his parents weren’t paying attention. Dear god. Are people really this unrealistic about children, how quick they are? tell me you’re kidding. Please.

      • KK says:

        Um, the kid told his mother MULTIPLE times he was going to go play in the exhibit. Instead of being a responsible mother, she neglected to watch him for the several minutes it took for him to make his way through at least 3 barriers and crawl over the gap into the gorilla area.

        She’s already had her children taken away from her by CPS twice. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear about her in the news again due to one of her kids being actually KILLED by her negligence. This exhibit has lasted 38 years without a single incident and this scumbag comes along and mucks it all up because she can’t even do her one singularly duty as a parent?

  40. Isa says:

    Also, I saw a photo of the barrier that someone posted and I can’t believe that they haven’t had this issue before. My oldest child could have made it through that ridiculously fast.
    Other adults have posted that they attempted to stop him and he still made it through.
    It’s such a sad situation. I hate that it happened and I hate the the gorilla died.

  41. Maum says:

    Difference is male gorillas are a lot more unpredictable than female and have been known to kill their own.
    This isn’t the Jungle Book.

    I sincerely believe a lot of people would have secretly liked for the boy to have been killed just to teach his mother a lesson. Not his father, mind, just his irresponsible and neglectful mother.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Oh god. I’m getting shades of that as well and it’s making me want to throw up. I’m so sorry for this poor woman who is now the target for people’s hate, anger and general dissatisfaction with life. I mean, you can think the mother’s irresponsible without wishing death on her.

  42. Maum says:

    And there were no alternative measures. The gorilla had become agitated by the screams and noises round him. He was becoming territorial and wasn’t going to relinquish his prize.
    He could have killed that poor boy in a second.

  43. colleen says:

    Like Kaiser said, there is definitely enough blame to go around.

    The parents should have kept better supervision of the child, but then again eyewitnesses have said that the boy one second was standing with his mom with his hand in her pocket and in an instant he was off and running. Accidents do happen.

    The gorilla did seem to be behaving in a very protective manner, but his strength being so much more of that little boy, it was obvious he was hurting the child, even if he didn’t mean to.

    My first thought was why wasn’t the gorilla shot with tranquilizer darts rather than killed? Was there a valid reason? If the only alternative truly was to kill the gorilla, then as much as it pains me to say so, the right call was made, as the death of the child would have been more tragic.

    • Tourmaline says:

      Tranq darts before taking full effect could have caused increased agitation in the gorilla and that was the explanation I read for why it was not a good alternative.

  44. ItDoesntReallyMatter says:

    What world do we live in that we aren’t celebrating the fact this 4-year-old child survived falling 15 feet and being dragged around by a giant wild animal for over 10 minutes?

    Blame the zoo, blame the parents, blame the gorilla; I don’t care. But celebrate that this innocent little child survived. He is not responsible for what happened in any way, and it breaks my heart that the main news story isn’t about the miracle he survived that ordeal.

    I personally think zoos are horrible and I don’t bring my kids to them. But I am so happy that little boy survived and I am sure his parents are too.

    • Almondjoy says:


    • Lady D says:

      and innocent he is.

    • Celebwatch says:

      Yes if it were my kid I would be as thankful as his mother is. But he would also be in HUGE trouble for the stunt he pulled.

      Aren’t people always complaining about how kids are out of control in public these days? If you let them behave that way, they will be. When they do you need to show them consequences (and I’m not talking about corporal punishment)

  45. BFDL says:

    The mother has had dealings with CPS and the father has a record. Great. But why is no one questioning WHY these parents were looked up by the media and Twitter terrorists in the first place?

    The need to find fault with this black mother is frightening and peering into her life is another form of harassment. If she were Kelly instead of Keshia would the world be so interested in her parenting skills? Or would this all be explained away as a simple misunderstanding?

    Black people, especially black women, are held to a different standard.

    • Celebwatch says:

      I assumed it was a white child and family when I read the story yesterday. My view of the situation did not change with more details about the family today. The zoo is most culpable since their enclosure is breachable; the parents need to take some responsibility; and even the little boy shares some culpability for his misbehavior. The percentages one assigns to each will vary depending on the person, but there’s no question in my mind that there are three parties involved here.

      • me says:

        I too assumed the family was white because normally if the family is anything but white, the news always makes it known. This time it took about 24 hours before that happened and then all the racists came out. Funny because when they thought the family was White, no one attacked the family…now that we know the family is Black, the outrage seems to be more. Interesting.

      • SloaneY says:

        I’m sorry, but that just isn’t true. Almost 90% of the comments I saw on multiple sites before the race of the family was known were calling out the mother as negligent. There maybe some more idiots tacking on racist hate now, but the initial reaction (when most people thought the family was white) was of negligence by the parent.

      • Ughhhh says:

        That is a four year old child who has been through some serious trauma. He bears no responsibility.

  46. Patty says:

    I think people forget that zoos are not playgrounds. Also zoos are primarily set up to keep the animals within their habitat and to keep them from getting out, not the other around. Anyone who has been to a zoo should understand and acknowledge this. As far as the barrier goes, the zoo did nothing wrong. This kid didn’t just walk into the enclosure, it took time and effort and the fact that it is the first time it has happened speaks volumes. It was not the zoos fault that the kid got through the barrier. It was his parents full stop. I’m an adult, when I go to the zoo, I know not to do certain things; children need their parents to keep them in check. And both the parents clearly failed this child.

    For starters, a four-year-old (or three-year-old) is more than capable of understanding why they shouldn’t do something. If your child says they want to go swim in the water with the gorillas, you need to take a minute to explain to your child why that isn’t possible and why it’s dangerous. If your child doesn’t listen, they are clearly not ready for the zoo and should be taken home.

    If zoos were designed to keep people out, it would have to be set up like Jurassic Park and people wouldn’t be able to see the animals…and then no one would go.

    *Also while the trolls are definitely out now, people were calling for the parents heads before people realized the family was black. I didn’t realize the kid was black until I saw pictures of the parents

    • Sam says:

      Many zoos court young children. Most of them have petting zoo areas and exhibits geared towards little kids. So they actively want parents to bring small children.

      Secondly, the mother DID react when he said he wanted to go in the exhibit. Multiple witnesses say they heard her say repeatedly, “No, you can’t do that, no.” She WAS expressing that he couldn’t do that. He decided to anyway. And she didn’t lose him for minutes. He bolted and was through the fence and into the exhibit pretty quickly. A woman stated that he tried to grab him and he slipped past her. People are acting as though her back was turned for several minutes, when it was, in reality, pretty quick.

    • Gatita says:

      Four year olds aren’t known for good judgement. It’s more a matter of temperament. My son was never a bolter and has always stayed near me. Other kids are very different. You can apply discipline and boundaries but some kids are naturally defiant and it can be really hard to manage the behavior. Also, mothers can’t win. I see so many snotty comments online about parents who use leashes on their kids but those are likely kids who bolt and the parents would rather keep them leashed than have them die after running into the street or getting lost at the mall. I once saw a kid who looked about four run right out into traffic with his mother in hot pursuit screaming at him to come back. Pure luck he wasn’t killed. I don’t blame her. Some kids are super tough to manage and having judgy people around doesn’t help.

      • BFDL says:

        I agree. We’re talking about a four year old here, not a preteen. I’m guessing those who are so critical don’t have children or have never, ever lost sight of their kids for one second. Ever.

        When is a missing child ever the child’s fault? I guess someone should inform John Walsh from America’s Most Wanted that it was Adam’s fault for being six with no discipline. Goodness.

      • Sam says:

        BFDL: A lot of people blame John Walsh’s wife for Adam’s death because she let him play a video game at one of those kiosks while she walked a few aisles over to shop. I’ve seen a ton of blame laid on her for letting him out of her sight. It’s genuinely awful. They blame her more than his actual killer.

      • PrincessMe says:

        Oh Gatita, I could hug you for your reasonable response. All of us commenting don’t really know what happened and to rip into a parent like that without knowing what really happened is just so wrong.
        My son was never a tantrum thrower (sure he cried for stupid things, but not crazy, all out tantrum) but he has a major screaming bloody murder fit in the back of our car on the way to school a couple weeks ago that made my husband and I wonder WTF just happened because this was just out of character. What triggered this fit? We asked him if wanted a cup of porridge, he said no, so we got one for his sister. As soon as we left, he decided he wanted some of hers and we told him that he would have to wait and if she had any left, he could have it (he already ate, she didn’t). He cried for the rest of the ride to school (about 30 minutes). I tell this long story to say, this was just an out of the blue thing for us… he’s not like that. Who knows if this child was a “bolter” before or if he was just enamored with seeing all the animals and wanted to be closer, that he acted out of character at the moment. We just don’t know enough to say whether the mother was negligent or if this was just a really unfortunate combination of events that ended tragically.

      • Ughhhh says:

        Finally, a reasonable thread.

  47. me says:

    Why do we put different values on different animals. I am sorry the animal was shot and killed, but what else could they have done? I don’t understand why some people are so outraged by this but will be on their decks tonight grilling up some cow or pig. Those are animals too. That leather sofa, yup an animal died for that…those leather shoes, purses, etc…all animals. They all were living things and died for human use. I think zoos are horrible. It’s not right to take these animals out of their natural habitats just so humans have something to do on a Saturday afternoon.

    • Celebwatch says:

      Different animals have different levels of intelligence, consciousness, etc. We are animals too, arguably more valuable than any? and all? others because of our intelligence. A consistent “I don’t abide any animals being hurt” philosophy is appealing and very humane (inherently ironic word), but distinctions between animals are not irrelevant… gorillas are highly intelligent animals, chickens not so much.

      • me says:

        I could say the same for humans…some intelligent, some not so much. Does it mean their lives shouldn’t be equally valued? Some cultures eat dog meat and see nothing wrong with it while other cultures are disgusted by the thought.

      • Marianne says:

        I dont have a problem with people eating dog meat. As you said, its a different culture. What I have a problem is these countries who eat dog meats usually torture the dogs first as they believe it makes it tastier. If you want to eat meat, I think thats fine but do it in a humane way.

      • me says:

        @ Marianne

        I think it’s all around sad how animals get treated, regardless of the country. But you should watch some documentaries on how cows, chickens, and pigs get slaughtered in North America. It’s pretty inhumane.

      • ls_boston says:

        Absolutely rightly said, me. However, I’ll go further. As awful as it would be to torture animals at death – and i in no way condone that for a minute – what’s worse is the way cows, chicks, pigs have to live their lives in NA – both the dairy / egg-layers as well as those bred for meat.

        We can eat our meat and drink our milk, but does it have to be that we need our food to be so inexpensive that we will reduce the entire animal existence to some sub-cubic feet for that pleasure? I’m not even so sure that it is that cost effective to have that kind of animal husbandry.

        Way-way-way off the topic of poor old Harambe, so I’ll bring it back to him. He deserves this thread to be about him.

  48. Marianne says:

    There have been quite a few zoologists come out that have said the right decision was made. Plus, the person who shot the video said that she turned it off when the gorilla started dragging the child as it was too horrendous.

    Hey, I feel incredibly bad that the gorilla died. But a child’s life was at stake. Tranqs weren’t an option and the gorilla wouldnt leave the child when it was called.

  49. HeyThere! says:

    Okay. I saw the video. I couldn’t help but think omg if that was my son I would have dove down there to confront the animal head on just so my baby could run away. I would have happily died that way to save my child. Would that have been the logical thing to do, no, but I still would have. Realistically he could have killed that child in one second if he intended to. BUT he also could have killed that small child by accident at any second!!! It’s a tragic fluke mistake that unfortunately took the life of an innocent animal…..but the boy lived. THAT is what matters. The mother should have been watching her child but nobody EVER thinks that this is going to happen. It’s a horrible situation all around and I pray that zoos everywhere learn from this, parents learn from this, everyone learns from this horrible experience.

    Maybe we should have wild animals in the wild and not in cages???? Just a thought.

    • mayamae says:

      I agree. I refuse to go to zoos, aquariums with large mammals, circuses, etc. I refuse to be part of the abuse.

    • Marianne says:

      Until poachers are stopped and de-forestation is stopped, animals need zoos. Many are very good about conservation.

  50. mayamae says:

    I’m only commenting on what happened after the child got into the enclosure. I’m amazed how calm the child was, as was his mother. While bystanders were shrieking like fools, mom was urging “Isaiah” to stay calm. And we see how intelligent gorillas are when Harambe picks up the little boy so he can stand on his feet. And as outraged as I am, I agree that the gorilla was increasingly agitated, and that added adrenaline would have made it more difficult to tranquilize him. Plus, they often become outraged when they feel the tranquilizer dart. I’ve seen it in chimps. They hate it, and I’ve seen them snatch at the gun and even knock it aside.

    While I agree about the decision to kill him, this is a complete clusterfu*k and needs to be thoroughly investigated. I don’t have a problem with animal activists weighing in – someone has to defend the animals who are innocently minding their own business, and killed for doing their thing. And I wish someone had been concerned about human life when Tilikum and Sea World were busy killing three human beings. That could have saved the life of the animal trainer, Dawn, who was absolutely brutalized, and whom Sea World blamed for her own death.

    And anyone who’s seen Blackfish would probably agree that Tilikum would be better off dead than living in his current conditions. The abuse that animal endured through his life is heartbreaking. Good old SeaWorld.

    • HeyThere! says:

      Omg don’t get me started on Blackfish, on Netflix if anyone is interested. I will NEVER go to Seaworld again!!!! The whole documentary was heartbreaking. The way they just threw the people off the street as trainers instantly in with the massive whales?!?! I was pregnanct when I watched it and they way they separated the mommas and babies in the world to take the babies….I cried my eyes out to say the least!!!

      • mayamae says:

        I know. The mom’s vocalized for hours. They said they were vocalizations never heard before, because they were attempting long-range. But knowing Tilikum was confined in a tiny pool with two extremely abusive females 14 plus hours a day when he was young ….. well, training ground for an aggressive animal. And best part? Tilikum is the breeder for the majority of SeaWorld’s whales.

    • I Choose Me says:

      I saw Blackfish. F–k SeaWorld. The end.

  51. jsilly4e says:

    I just think there are all of a sudden a lot of armchair zoologists and primatologists. I think the people that cared for this animal and trained for this situation knew better than the rest of us on social media. And all other matters aside, no matter if animals should be in zoos, if you feel the mother was neglectful, or you blame a preschooler that has been on this earth for 4 years (really think about that), all that aside, they did what they felt would cause the least amount of harm to the human life. You think that animal meant more to YOU than it did to the people that had to put it down? I don’t know how anyone can justify calling for the death of a 4 year old child and his mother. It’s fine to grieve the gorilla. Of course it is, but it was a terrible tragedy and the trained experts did what they knew to be the safest choice for all those involved.

    And for people that are calling for the mothers head and calling her names because the 4 year old was saying he wanted to go in and be with the gorilla, how in the world would she even think that was possible? You’re at the zoo and you think they would know how to secure the animals and ensure visitor safety. Was it in San Diego zoo that they didn’t build the fences high enough and the tiger jumped over? I’m sorry but the zoo should be responsible for making it safe. This wasn’t a case of the mother holding the child over the enclosure and dropping him in.

  52. Anna S. says:

    So think of the movie King Kong for a minute when King Kong escapes into the city and everyone is screaming for their lives. Who’s fault is it? The spectators that came to see King Kong? Nope. King Kong himself? Nope. The knuckleheads running the show who didn’t have proper safety precautions in place and/or shouldn’t have confined King Kong? You bet. Sorry, zoo is culpable.

  53. Bisola says:

    I am just amazed that some people even think that the life of an animal is worth more than that of a human being.
    I live in Africa.and I would never ever think that.

  54. Liesl says:

    I CANNOT with all the judging of this mother. Eyewitnesses have said she wasn’t being negligent, just momentarily distracted by another child. The boy snuck off in a matter of seconds and was able to breach barriers that no reasonable parent could predict were accessible by a 3-year-old, even if he expressed an interest in getting closer. It was a perfect storm of unique variables that could have happened to anyone!

    I am a mother of young children, and I can attest that the zoo is designed for young families. Exhibits are often interactive and encourage kids to do a bit of independent wandering – from one viewpoint to another, from animal to animal. Yes, you want to be respectful of the animals, but it’s not a dangerous destination thanks to barriers and other safety precautions. No one goes there thinking otherwise.

    What happened is no more than a freak accident that couldn’t have been predicted by any party involved. Those calling for the mother’s head seem to have little experience with young children, modern zoos, animals, or are helicopter parents whose hyper-vigilance comes with it’s own set of risks.

    Bottom line: This was a terrible tragedy and loss, but it’s wonderful the little boy survived.

    • Tourmaline says:

      PERFECTLY said agree with every word you wrote.

    • I Choose Me says:

      I’m with you. Sometimes sh-t happens. I’m deeply saddened that Harambe had to die but relieved that little Isaiah is safe.

  55. I can’t blame the parents who were attending to their other kids for a few seconds when their 4- year- old moved out of sight. I don’t know one adult who doesn’t have a memory of getting lost as a child or lost their own or someone else’s accidentally. Nor do I blame the zoo for killing the gorilla because you can’t take a chance on a human child’s life.

    What I do blame the zoo for is even having these animals in captivity. I stopped going to zoos after childhood because I felt bad for the these poor creatures being kidnapped and made into exotic pets for humans to gawk at. If you want to see gorillas & other exotic wild animals, save your money and go to their home on their turf.

    • Fiorella says:

      Ahaha.. Not really a zoo fan (also i am semi- vegetarian) but it’s not saving money to go visit gorillas in their home.. Nor should people make a habit of doing that. Guess you’re joking actually

  56. SBS says:

    I am genuinely curious what the reactions would have been if it had been a nanny or teacher that had ‘looked away for a second’. My guess is they’d be much harsher.

  57. Susan says:

    I have two toddlers and I’m a helicopter parent in every sense of the word. I’m a pretentious over achieving yuppie parent and I CONSTANTLY obsess over my parental failures and how I can do better. I was w my husband and two kids in a dept store the other day and my two year old ran away from us. I thought he was watching her, I was paying, he thought I was watching her….long story short the dept store gates had to come down. Security was called, a woman in the mall told us she saw a kid being dragged….oh god it was hell. Everything turned out fine, she was “playing hide and seek.” I have never felt such fear.

    My point is, no matter how hard we try, we make mistakes and shit happens. Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt.

  58. k says:

    I am anti Zoo because I think it is wrong to do to animals. That being said when the choice comes between saving a human vs an animal YOU ALWAYS SAVE THE HUMAN ESPECIALLY IF THAT HUMAN IS FOUR.

    The fact that we are questioning whether saving a child over a gorilla says something so disgusting about our society. The mother turned her back, she was dealing with another kid and lets be real she isn’t the first mom who as done this and she isn’t the last. How many kidnapping victims are that exact story. Should the mother be more careful? Of course but its human error and her child didn’t deserve to die for it!

  59. Kitkatk8 says:

    Not trolling – haven’t had time to read all comments – puting daughter to sleep – but has anyone who actually frequents this zoo commented yet??

    We live in Cincinnati and make frequent zoo trips (I personally find it semi depressing in general but our next door neighbor works there as a PhD in animal psych and swears it’s healthy for the animals…..idk)

    So i guess just wondering if it’s worth contributing my two cents from someone who is actually there quite often?

  60. Out of Control says:

    Hey LS_Boston,

    You make an interesting point about balancing out the population sizes of various species by killing off some of our own. I’d never considered that as an option but you’ve got my attention.

    I think your argument would resonate more with me if you were willing to lead by example (starting with you). “Be the change you want to see…”, right?


    • ls_boston says:


      Huh? I said we should kill off our own? No, sorry, but no. I’m not in favour of killing anyone. I said that one gorilla’s killing scaled proportionately for population amounted to killing off 40K humans, not that we should start killing off 40K humans.

      I’m in favour of *not* killing off the gorillas or the elephants or the rhinos or the tigers and lions …

      Comprehension and deductive reasoning (their lack thereof) in the age of social media has been truly a thing of beauty.