Tag Archives: Harambe

DA makes right call: no charges in gorilla case


The death of a beloved beast in the Cincinnati Zoo has taken another turn … and it’s the correct turn.

Prosecutors in Franklin County, Ohio, have decided against filing criminal charges against the parents of a toddler who fell into a gorilla enclosure. They were watching the little boy and other children. The youngster got away from them — as little children can do.

He fell into the pit. The 400-pound beast, Harambe, tossed the child around. Zoo officials decided on the spot that they had to kill the gorilla to save the youngster.

That, too, was the right call.


As prosecutor Joseph Deters said today: “She had three other kids with her and turned her back. … And if anyone doesn’t believe a 3-year-old can scamper off very quickly, they’ve never had kids.”

I totally agree with that. My once-young sons are all grown up. One of them has a toddler of his own. But oh, brother, do my wife and I remember how quickly they could move — especially when our backs were turned, even for an instant.

The only way the tot’s mother should have been charged with criminal intent would be if the youngster had said, “Look at me, Mommy, while I go play with the big monkey,” and then she turned her back.

That didn’t happen, Deters said.

The boy’s mother is going to beat herself up possibly for the rest of her life.

The death of a majestic — and immensely powerful — beast is tragic enough. Imagine the reaction had Harambe done something terrible to the little boy.

As a friend of mine said the other day while visiting the Fort Worth Zoo with her own toddler, at least the gorilla story has made other parents pay more attention to their children’s whereabouts.


No need to prosecute parents


Harambe’s death in the Cincinnati Zoo has sparked outrage around the world.

Yes, it’s tragic. It shouldn’t have happened. It took no time at all for recriminations to start flying over the death of the rare gorilla that well could have killed a little boy who had fallen into the beast’s enclosure.

Zoo officials did what they had to do. They shot Harambe to death to save the boy from potentially serious injury or death.

Who’s to blame? Who’s at fault? Who should pay for this?

I will say here that the parents shouldn’t have to face criminal charges, nor civil penalty.

Yes, they erred in taking their eyes of the tot long enough for him to climb through the barrier and fall into Harambe’s enclosure. Let’s not “go after” them for a mistake.

Zoo officials say this is the first time in the venue’s history that this kind of event has occurred. It likely will be the last time — for a very long while.

Does the Cincy Zoo need to do a better job of securing these enclosures from incursions made by curious children? Obviously, the answer is a resounding “yes!”

Harambe was a 400-pound beast capable of doing horrific harm to the little intruder. Frankly, I’m amazed that the boy wasn’t hurt, given the way Harambe was tossing him around and dragging him through the water.

Let us stop the recriminations and look now for solutions to prevent this from happening ever again.


Cincy zoo officials acted properly to save boy


I have been trying to process the tragedy surrounding the death of a 17-year-old mountain gorilla.

Cincinnati Zoo officials shot Harambe to death after a 4-year-old boy fell into the beast’s enclosure. The video we’ve all watched is horrifying in the extreme as Harambe pulls and throws the tot around the pool.

I haven’t seen any video of Harambe being shot to death. To be honest, I don’t care to see it.

I do believe, though, that zoo officials followed the only reasonable course to achieve what it had to achieve — which was to save the boy’s life.


Animal-rights activists — quite predictably — are saying the zoo should have spared Harambe’s life. But at what cost, for crying out loud?

The youngster was in imminent peril of losing his life in a most horrific manner. Other animal behaviorists have noted that Harambe well could have become agitated if he had been shot with a tranquilizer dart; it takes a while for the drug to take effect, these folks warn us, and the time until Harambe would be sedated could have placed the boy into even greater danger.

The strength of these beasts is not to be trifled with.

If there’s a scapegoat — I won’t use the term “villain” — here, it’s the boy’s parents who apparently turned their backs on the youngster long enough for him to fall into Harambe’s enclosure.

Zoo officials aren’t releasing the family’s name. That’s just as well. They know what happened and they have to live with the consequences of what became of a majestic beast.

Yes, it’s a tragedy that Harambe’s life had to be taken.

Imagine the outrage, though, had the zoo taken another course and the youngster’s life had been lost.