Blame The Parents Or Blame The Primate? Where Do You Stand?

Following the unfortunate and tragic incident at the Cincinnati zoo, where a 17 year old male lowland gorilla named Harambe was shot in order to rescue a 3 year old boy who fell into the animal’s enclosure, a debate has ignited over who is to blame and whether the zoo had too itchy of a trigger finger and could have resorted to other methods or if the parents are to blame for not watching their child and essentially exercising very poor parenting skills. Comedian and commentator John Fugelsang made his stance very clear with this tweet:

Fugelsang Gorilla Pic

So where on the divide do you stand? Would more helicopter parenting have prevented this whole thing in the first place – shame on the parents for not keeping an eye on their kid, or is the Cincinnati zoo absolutely careless in shooting first, thinking later in killing an extremely endangered animal beloved by many?

Those siding with the zoo say that the life of a human, or a child in this case more than justifies the act of neutralizing the threat by neutralizing the animal. Opinions from top animal experts, such as Jeff Corwin and Miami-Dade zoo communications director Ron Magill say the killing, while regrettable was justified and that the animal was behaving irrationally and aggressively and could have very easily killed the boy; the repercussions for that and the zoo being more than obvious.

But we then go back to the arguments postulated by those saying the onus was entirely on the parents and they are to blame for what happened and a witch hunt of sorts has started with memes and tweets (like the one above) joking or outright calling for the parents to have been the ones that should have been shot. Again, would helicopter parenting or paying more attention to the child have even prevented all this?

People defending the parents also point out that who, in their life, as a parent hasn’t had a moment where they looked away for a second or two and then had their kid get into trouble or some other mishap. They make the argument that it’s impossible for any one parent to be 100% vigilant or perfect in every instance and that in this case, it was a tragic mistake with a tragic outcome, but that it could have been worse had the child been the one killed versus Harambe; the parents they say aren’t culpable.

So there’s a “Blame the primate” side and “Blame the parents” faction, growing and growing? Which side of the fence do you lean on?

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Co-Founder - Managing Editor
Mauro is an International Relations, Political Science & Tech/gadget guy exploring the world through ADHD colored glasses.
On his off-time, he's a foodie, voracious reader and a champion for ADHD causes.
Astronomy rounds out his other varied interests.
On a weekend, you can find him relaxing, watching a good documentary on Netflix along with spending time with his family.