While You Were Crying Over a Dead Ape, 125,000 Babies Were Just Murdered
A terrifying scene unfolded at the Cincinnati Zoo this past weekend.
A 4-year-old boy tumbled into an animal exhibit occupied by a giant 400 pound gorilla named Harambe. As horrified zoo patrons – including the child’s mother – looked on, the gorilla violently dragged the boy from one end of the enclosure to the other. Finally, after about 10 minutes, zoo officials and law enforcement officers determined that they had to shoot and kill the gorilla in order to save the kid’s life. The animal died quickly. The boy was rushed to a hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. A happy ending to what could have been a terrible, tragic story.
I call it a happy ending because the young boy lived, which is a result that would have seemed very much in question to anyone who happened to witness the situation in real time. Of course I’m not happy the ape died – I didn’t wake up on Saturday morning hoping that a gorilla in Cincinnati would meet his untimely demise – but when a human’s life is threatened by an animal, the only thing I care about is saving the human. The moment the gorilla grabs the boy, my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, one hundredth, one millionth, etc., priorities are to save the boy. If the boy is saved, then I am happy. That’s all.
But, predictably, my priorities — and more importantly, the priorities of the zoo workers and police officers on the scene — are not shared by everyone. We are living in the days of neo-paganism, where legions of depraved souls seem only capable of mustering compassion for wild beasts. As for human beings, they feel only contempt and indifference.
Over the last couple of days, we’ve been treated to another round of our trademark National Outrage. People have been creating petitions and venting their seething rage on social media. A Facebook memorial page was immediately created, with a picture of Harambe accompanied by the caption, “I was someone, and my life mattered.” Heartbroken citizens planned a candlelight vigil. Others left flowers at a statue of the beast, borrowing a page from the pagan animal worshipers of ancient times. Some protested outside the zoo, claiming the gorilla should not have been shot. Scores of others have echoed this sentiment, insisting that Harambe was only very gently dragging dragging a child around his cage like a rag doll.
Many people have, calling upon their extensive zoological training and education, come to the conclusion the animal should have been tranquilized. Officials at the zoo explained that a tranquilizer would take several minutes to work, and during that time the animal would be even more agitated, further endangering the boy’s life. But that’s a risk worth taking, according to a lot of people.
Others have been more blunt. If you make the mistake of reading the reactions on Twitter or in the comments section under articles about this incident, you’ll find that a good number of folks think this should have been settled by “survival of the fittest.” Let the preschooler and the quarter ton beast work it out between them. If that means a child is ripped apart, so be it.