The controversial question of whether or not the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla should’ve been shot to death continues to rock the country. Zoo officials determined that the endangered animal was too dangerous to the boy who fell in his enclosure, but animal behavior expert, Gisela Kaplan, disagrees — here’s why.
Not every wildlife and animal expert agrees with the Cincinnati Zoo’s decision to kill 17-year-old gorilla, Harambe! While the general consensus among professionals seems to be that Harambe posed a threat to the four-year-old boy who fell into his habitat, not everyone shares that opinion, and one expert even claims there was no danger to the young child at all.
“The Silverback would’ve understood that it was a defenseless, small child,” Professor Gisela Kaplan, from the University of New England, explained. “They would not normally attack, they are not an aggressive wild species [and] in the wild, I’m certain the boy wouldn’t have been killed. If he was going to attack, he would’ve warned him first. The first thing they do is charge and beat their chests, and as far as I know, that didn’t happen.”
The little boy was in the enclosure for around ten minutes, and a horrifying video shows Harambe dragging him through the water. Eventually, zoo officials determined that the boy’s life was in danger, and decided to controversially shoot and kill the animal.
Many have criticized the decision, pointing out that the gorilla should’ve been tranquilized instead, but the zoo’s director has explained why that wouldn’t have worked. “That would have definitely created alarm in the male gorilla,” he revealed. “When you dart an animal, anesthetic doesn’t work in one second, it works over a period of a few minutes to ten minutes. The risk was due to the power of that animal.”
Famous zookeeper, Jack Hanna, has backed up this statement, while former Animal Planet host, Jeff Corwin, has pointed out that it’s the responsibility of parents to make sure their kids are safe in places like zoos and national parks.
Do you think the boy was in danger, HollywoodLifers? Do you think it was right to shoot the gorilla?