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.