Like many others, I was sad to learn about the fate of the gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo. It was a heartbreaking decision for the zoo to kill that magnificent animal.
Many second-guessed the decision. The most common complaint was that a tranquilizer gun should have been used. That is not practical. It takes time for the drug to take effect. Meanwhile, the animal is upset about being shot. Others want the parents prosecuted. Every parent has had a child get away from them. Should we throw them all in jail?
There are some basic facts that must be kept in mind. Primates are very strong and capable of violence. Unlike the other gorillas, this one ignored the sign to leave the area. There was lots of shouting and screaming which had to be upsetting for the animal. There were only two choices the zoo could make; kill the animal or let the gorilla kill the child. They made the right choice.
Zoos around the world should reexamine their barriers to prevent similar instances in the future. In the meantime, safety of the visitors should be their top priority.