30 May 2016

Here's an idea: how about we don't judge someone else because their kid got away from them? It happens to even the best of parents; you turn away for 3 seconds, and the kid is gone. And yes, I realize you're all perfect and you special little snowflake would never get away from you. But those parents who have runners, you get it. You can have one moment of being human, and off the kid goes. It happens, and it happens to most parents. Generally you're lucky and catch them quickly, but go spend an hour in Disneyland and see how often kids take off. Hell, go to your public park on a busy day. Or the mall.

It happens.

And here's another idea: how about we don't judge a zoo for placing a human life above an animal, based on the little bit of video they could show on the news? The full video is online, and if you watch it you'll have a clearer understanding of the scope of what was happening. The gorilla was not going to protect that child; as a male, when presented with a child that was not his own offspring, he would have killed that boy.

Yes, other gorillas have cared for human children under similar circumstances...and those gorillas were female. Big difference.

Yes, it sucks that they killed the gorilla. But the truth is that if they had not, that little boy would be dead. Tranquilizers would not have worked fast enough and in his already agitated state would have further enraged him. Would you really have preferred a blood bath? A dead little boy over a dead animal?

There was no winning in this.

But now those parents are facing unbearable public scrutiny and are getting death threats. And unless you were right there, you don't really know what happened or how the kid got away from them. Your knee jerk reaction is not helping anything. The posting of memes proclaiming the gorilla to keeping a better eye on the kid than the parents is, frankly, mean.

If you have're not a perfect parent. None of us are. None of us can be. We all leave scars on our kids, no matter how hard we try not to.

What we can be is compassionate, and try to understand that these parents and that little boy are scarred for life, and now because of public reaction are probably terrified for their lives.

Do you really want to pile onto that? Be that kind of person?

It sucks all the way around, but no one deserves the hell these parents are getting online, no one deserves the death threats, and to contribute to the pain they will be weighed down with for the rest of their lives--they're never getting over this, you know that--is terribly unkind.


Cary said...

Bravo! Well said

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Marley, and Laz) said...

I saw the video today. It was both frightening and tragic. The gorilla was killed, the child was threatened, the parents were terrified. Some people said the child should have been watched more carefully. Well, thank you, Captain Hindsight! We would never have thought that if you hadn't pointed that out.

Some people said they should have just tranquilized the gorrilla. OK, that takes 5-10 minutes for an animal that size. Meanwhile, the alpha male was confused by the intruder and all the screaming.

The anger at the parents disturbs me the most. There seem to be some people who think the parents willingly allowed the child the fall into the gorilla enclosure.

Have we forgotten the concept of "accidents"? We have become far too willing to assign blame for every surprise in our lives. Childhood is filled with accidents. No parent, no matter how attentive, can prevent every unexpected action by a child.

And now I see that are people demanding the parents face legal action. Oh c'mon people! What is the purpose of legal punishment? To get someome to act reponsibly, right? Don't you thing those parents have had the fright of their lives and have learned a lesson already?

Give them a break. They are terrified enough, and that boy will probably get "parent-helicoptored" for the rest of his life.

Anonymous said...

I read that the mom was also wrangling three other youngsters at the time and had told the boy "no" when he said he wanted in the water with the gorilla. Give mom a break here!

Also, I am betting that there will be a change in the barrier system keeping the public away from the animals .... maybe a higher fence with clear plastic behind it.