The internet has been ablaze with hot takes and questions over the handling of the Cincinnati Zoo’s killing of their endangered western lowland gorilla when a 4-year-old boy fell into its enclosure. It’s easy to look back in retrospect and blame the family and the zoo, but at the time, there was a child in the arms of a 450-pound male gorilla, thrashing him about, and things looked dire. So a call was made, and the zoo chose to put down the animal.
Zoo Director Thane Maynard took to Facebook to explain that the zoo’s tranquilizers may not have worked in time, and could’ve even made the gorilla far more aggressive, endangering the child further.
“We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child’s life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made.”