Just shhhh. Shhh. It's my turn to talk. Some things running through my angry mind are a-brewing in light of the recent Gorilla shot dead news articles...
I am sad that a great big ol' gorilla was killed.
I am sad for the zoo keepers who had to make that decision to kill the gorilla.I am sad that for a few long minutes, these zoo keepers had to decide whether the gorilla posed a real threat to a child, enough to warrant its death, or to take a chance & tranquilise the animal and hope for the best. I'm sure this was heartbreaking for all involved.
I am sad that these 'murderers' (as they've been called) will have to live with this decision. I hope they can feel relief that a human being was saved by their choice.
Was the gorilla protecting the kid? I don't know. Only the gorilla knows. And as the gorilla has no speech nor the capacity to wear pants & walk the streets of our cities, we will never know its intentions. Why can't they walk our streets? Why are they locked in an (apparent) secure enclosure with high walls, fences and a moat? Because they are deemed potentially dangerous animals if they feel threatened or stressed. This may have been one of those moments. We don't know for sure.
I am sad for the cheeky monkey who fell in the pit. He will be scared of primates for the rest of his life. On the plus side, he most definitely has learned that the burnt hand is the best teacher. That's the silver lining I will hold.
I am sad for the mother of this child. I am sad she has been labelled 'negligent' & may face charges for the death of the gorilla. I am sad that she has to face a barrage of nasty, cruel & insensitive mother-slagging. I am sad she will forever be known as the slack mum who, because of her 'inability' to watch one of her children in a public place, had a gorilla killed.
I am sad that the family's history, states of mind, criminal backgrounds, etc, have become part of this media-fuelled condemnation.
I am sad that for those long 10 minutes, this mum may have been thinking that her out-of-reach child's screams will be the last thing she was to hear from her boy. And there was nothing she could do about it.
I am sad that this 'animal' tragedy & potential 'human' tragedy has gained more sensation than in other areas of the world where innocent lives (such as the gorilla's, but I'm meaning mostly human casualties) are taken daily. But those negligent mums shouldn't even be letting those kids be in such a harsh and dangerous environment in the first place. Yes, sarcasm.
I am concerned that a zoo enclosure can be breached so easily by a 4 year old with no apparent military or ninja background. I am gobsmacked that this is not the headline instead.
I am disturbed by the amount of people who appear to have forgotten how easy it is to lose a child the minutes you walk into Kmart. How, in the blink of an eye, these miniature Houdini's can disappear from their stroller and camouflage themselves under a clothes rack in seconds, just because you turned to look at your other child who is distracted by the toys on display, while another child is trying to tell you something oh-so-important about a My Little Pony she must have. Unless you have all children on leashes, or your private live-in nanny in tow, or have 6 pairs of eyes looking at each kid plus any potential danger that could manifest, this is pretty freaking tricky. I know. I have taken my then 14 year old, 12 year old hearing impaired kid, 4 year old twins & 2 year old shopping & have only seen three of them at any given time. And I don't think I'm negligent, or someone who doesn't deserve to be a mum. Or someone who deserves to be called out on that. But I know that when I visit a zoo, I'm not thinking 'what if my kid climbs into an enclosure if I take my eye off him for a moment?' Walking into a zoo, I feel that the absence of 'Enter At Own Risk' or 'View Animals At Your Own Peril' signs, or a Zoo Visitor Indemnity Form and Accidental Animal Attack Waiver to be presented at entry assures me that my family & I are safe, and that the animals are safe from my animals, too.
This situation was a terrible situation with what could've been a very different outcome.
As a final hurrah for #Mommitment in the month of May, I will not make this mum feel any worse than she already probably does. This could have happened to any mum. Seriously. Unless, of course, you and your children are perfectly perfect.