Weighing in on Harambe’s Killing & Negligence

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Harambe just before he was shot to death with the 3 year old who climbed the fence and fell into the habitat’s moat.

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Michelle Gregg, the negligent mom of the 3-year-old who fell into Harambe’s habitat, and the child’s father, Deonne Dickerson.

I said I wanted to stay out of this one. But it’s impossible, so here goes–short and to-the-point.

  1. The mother of the three-year-old boy who fell into Harambe’s habitat, Michelle Gregg, was negligent. She’s got five kids. She’s not a first-time mom. She knows how easily and quickly a three-year-old can disappear. This is why they make child tethers. She should have been using one if she was prone to being distracted by the tears of another of her children, who, it was reported, was throwing a petulant fit about leaving the zoo.
  2. It was inevitable that Harambe would be killed once the child fell into the enclosure. Inevitable under the circumstances of a hysterical crowd and the lawsuit the zoo would face if they didn’t act decisively. Was the gorilla going to hurt the boy? I doubt it. I watched the videos repeatedly. I listened and read what several experts said, pro and con. But doubt doesn’t secure the life of a child in danger and all animals are going to protect their young, first and foremost. Therefore, I say it was inevitable that Harambe’s life would be sacrificed.
  3. The zoo was just as negligent as the mother, Michelle Gregg. The animal habitats are those animals’ homes and territory. (Unfortunately, the Castle Laws don’t apply for the animals living there.) The zoo has an obligation to keep stupid, dangerous predators–humans–out of those habitats. If that means an eighteen-foot unscalable fence with razor wire on top with another high-voltage fence inside that, then do it. Remember, the wild animals–the humans–you’re admitting into gawk at these captive animals are the real and present danger to the zoo animals’ safety.