(Closed) What's your opinion on the Cincinnati Zoo situation?

posted 4 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 31
7895 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

It’s truly a series of unfortunate events, but the outcome would have been much worse if the kid had been injured or killed. 

Post # 32
9049 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I think there are a lot of people at fault here and that the gorilla was the one who paid the price for human stupidity.

The parents are at fault for not supervising their child properly especially after the child declared they wanted to get into the closure.

The zoo keepers are at fault for responding to the hysteria by shooting the gorilla. In all previous instances where a child has fallen into a gorilla enclosure the gorilla, like in this instance, protected the child from percieved danger. Coming in with guns, people screaming and yelling are threats to a gorilla and it did what it does with it’s own children, protect them. The zoo mishandled the situation entirely.

The zoo itself for having outdated prison cells for their animals. I am anti zoo in general but there are zoos that have enclosures that are way better. If you can’t protect and care for  your animals correctly and for those who pay to see them then you have no business being in that industry.

The public at the zoo. So many people too busy trying to get footage they can upload/sell to think about the situation and remove themselves. Same goes for those screaming and yelling. They did nothing to help the situation and caused the gorilla to act defensively to protect the child.

Society in general. I said this in another thread recently but entitlement in society is ridiculous. This child felt entitled to do what he wanted. Let go back in time 20,30 or 40 years to when zoo enclosures were much less secure and easily more accessible to a disobediant child. Anyone hear of a gorilla killing a child? Hell no because the child, let alone an adult, wouldn’t feel they were entitled to do what they wanted. This incident is evidence of what extreme entitlement can lead to.

The parents should be charged, the zoo should be charged and we shoukd all be ashamed that an endangered animal that we justify locking up in cage in order to protect was killed by mass negligence.

Post # 33
1740 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I absolutely blame the mother.  And yes, I am both a mother and a grandmother.  This situation is different from other “kids slip away” situations.  As a few PP have stated, the kid told his mother *multiple* times that he was going to go into the enclosure.  So the mother had more than fair warning that she should be paying close attention to him.  And yet, when he slipped away, she was taking a selfie.  A fricking selfie distracted her from watching her kid near a dangerous animal’s habitat which she *knew* he wanted to get into.  So yea, it’s 100% her fault as far as I’m concerned.  I do not think the zoo is responsible — that exhibit has been there for almost 40 years without any other incident despite hundreds of thousands (or millions?) of other families going there.  The zoo did what it needed to do to protect the kid, but now the woman should pay for it.

Post # 34
543 posts
Busy bee

I understand children can be fast and that parents don’t have their eyes on their children 100% of the time but come on…. This 4 year old boy climbed over a barrier, climbed through bushes, and jumped 15 feet into the moat! Regardless of how fast children can be, I doubt this child was able to navigate through these obstacles in a matter of seconds. 

I understand that it was impossible for the mother to keep her eyes on him, especially because she brought her three other children. However, I don’t understand why she thought it was a good idea to bring four children to the zoo when she was going to be the only one supervising? Articles state that she was preoccupied and distracted on her phone while her child slipped away. This is neglegence and the mother should be charged or fined. 

I do think the zoopkeepers made the right choice, however this unfortunate event could have been easily avoided had the mother been more attentive. I hope she’s held accountable.

Post # 35
87 posts
Worker bee

I work with kids on a daily basis.As much as people want to pass the buck, the responsibility is on the back of the caretaker, whomever that is at the moment. It is easy to look away, but there are witness accounts of this child having a conversation with his mother about wanting to go into the pit minutes before. And lets be honest, people know there own kids, some kids are well behaved, some are not. No kid is a well behaved child that just decides to jump into a pit with an animal one day. If you bring your child into a public situation like this, you can’t not pay attention. You can’t sit there checking your phone, or snapping pictures, or doing whatever else. Also, this is not normal behavior for a 4 year old … something isn’t right here. There is some lapse in parenting that allowed this to happen.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by  carrotqueen.
Post # 36
6888 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

View original reply
CityBearBride:  From my understanding the father wasn’t there.  

Post # 37
102 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I’ve been to the Cincinnati Zoo hundreds of times, usually with more than one child.  It had to have taken that little boy a few minutes to go under the fence, and through the thicket of sticker bushes that are in between the fence and the moat.  It makes me sad that nobody else saw the boy and stepped in to stop him.  As a parent, and a nanny, I think yes, the parents should have kept a better watch over a little one that had stated that he wanted to go play in the water.  But as a parent, I know how unrealistic it is to watch them for every single second.  It’s a terrible tradgedy.  I’ll miss seeing Harambe when I go tomorrow.  But I support the zoo’s decision to shoot him 🙁 


Post # 38
1001 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

The parents should be charged, but they were right to shoot the gorilla.

I get that kids can dissapear… but seriousy this kid got into a GORILLA ENCLOSURE. That’s not taking your eyes off your kid for a minute or two, that is ignoring your kid in a really big way while he breaks through the multiple barriers designed to keep humans and animals apart from each other.

Post # 39
3064 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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BakerBee16:  The zoo HAD to take down the gorilla- that kid was doomed. Its so unfortunate that the PARENTS caused this enitre situation.

How many THOUSANDS of kids have walked passed, stood by, viewed that gorilla exhibit and did not manage to get over the barrier? I know kids are hard to watch, but this seems to be extreme.

This is not the first parent to lose track of their kid, but this IS the first parent to allow their child be unsupervised long enough to make it over whatever barrier there was to fall in  zoo exhibit. If your kid is that much of a flight risk/unruly/wont listen, keep a better eye on them. I get losing your kid in a store. Ive been that kid. But this is extreme.

100% the parent’s fault, and I hope they are made to donate to the gorilla conservation fund. This was entirely preventable in my opnion. The parents made an egregious mistake, and are lucky as hell their kid is alive.

Post # 40
2171 posts
Buzzing bee

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julies1949:  well said as always. 


I’m tired of all the blaming. The mother is an idiot….the zoo should have foreseen this and had better saftey standards…..gorillas shouldn’t be in zoos at all…..lets close all the zoos….eyeroll.

This is an awful situation and blaming all the people involved is easy and does nothing but spread more negativity. I’m sick of hearing about it, honestly. 

Post # 41
4912 posts
Honey bee

And the irony is the mom is a daycare administrator.

Post # 42
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

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erosie:  +1 

Thank you for pointing out how zoos can be good! 

Post # 43
945 posts
Busy bee

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tagerosan:  Or is it the zoo who should pay a fine for having an enclousre that could be entered by a child? Children only take a moment to get away from you and I really think that putting all the blame on the parent is very unrealistic.

Having a potentially dangeours animal open to the public is an unnatural situation, and I dont think any parent would think to themselves, hmm my kid can easliy get in there, yeah I might just let them do that. I think if the zoo is going to have a wild animal on display it is up to them to ensure it is out fo reach of the public. 

I love animals and my heart breaks for the poor gorilla, but under the circumstances what else could have been done? What if with a tranquilizer the gorrila collapsed or sat on the child or worse what if it had reacted aggressively as a result of feeling the pain of the tranquiliser shot and attacked the child?

Yes gorillas are beautiful creatures who share much of our dna but they are still wild animals and highly unpredictable. Does anyone remember that chimpanze that lost it years ago and ripped a womans face off and almost killed her? He was a docile animal from what I remember hearing but one day just snapped. Im sorry but no child should be left at risk, even if their parents were negligent, which in this case I’m not convinced they were.

Post # 44
2443 posts
Buzzing bee

Okay… So yes I do think the Gorilla should have been shot as horrible as it is for me to say that.

The boy did end up in the hospital from the fall and from being dragged around by the Gorilla. Even if he was trying to “protect” the child as some claim he is still a very strong and very big Gorilla that could do damage to a 4 year old without meaning to at all. I know they were also worried about the Gorilla accidentally drowning the kid too. So I do unfortunately think that it was the right decision. 

I do however completely blame the parents. If I was at a dangerous place or somewhere where my kid could easily get lost damn strait I’m going to constantly have their hand in mine. I think it makes it even worse that both of the parents where there! Both if them lost sight of their kid…Also, considering the fact that the child mentioned several times that he wanted to get into the exhibit makes the parents even more to blame. The kid is literally telling you he wants to do that, you don’t watch him, and then a gorilla gets shot. 

I don’t think it was fair to the gorilla or to the zoo and they should have to pay some serious fines (the parents). It sent conservation efforts back and it now limits the already limited gene pool to continue the existence of these animals. Because of their negligence there were some serious consequences. 

Should the zoo have had better barriers? Yes. However, the zoos used to have very stronghold glass barriers everywhere and the public demanded that they change that. That the animals shouldn’t be in cages etc. Etc. So the zoos changed their enclosures to look more natural. Thus, I am sure inviting more of a chance for stuff like this to happen.  I mean go to a zoo that has the strong barriers that everyone is demanding now and you will hear the backlash of these poor animals being in a cage and how miserable they look. Etc. Etc. It’s a double edged sword that zoos have been battling for years. 

Post # 45
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

regarding the comments on this thread saying that the parent’s attention should have been steadfast- because this “is more serious than briefly losing track of your kid for a moment in the store”- well that’s exactly how many child abductions come about. None of us expect the worst to happen when we think we are safe. 

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