*It’s no news to regular readers of this site that I am an animal lover. But that doesn’t negate good sense. And the recent decision by the Cincinnati Zoo to kill (not tranquilize) an endangered species Silverback male gorilla name Harambe, after a 4-year-old boy found his way past a barrier and fell into its enclosure 15-feet below, is a decision that had to be made. Just imagine this was your child. American zookeeper and one of my idols, Jack Hanna, has come out in support of the zoo’s decision. He happens to value human life…more.
It’s downright frightening watching this gorilla handling this child; even after the supposed offending parts of the video, taken by a bystander, was removed. In this video, you see the gorilla grab the kid by the back of his pants, and you see the child looking up at the animal and touching its hand.
I can’t help but wonder if this child is afraid, or if, in his naivete, he still thinks the animal wants to play.
Hanna told CBS This Morning…
“I agree with them 1,000-percent because, why, I’ve seen the gorillas and worked with them for 35 years…This animal, they made the correct decision. In fact, its a millisecond decision,” says the man whose career working with animals spans more than 40-years and held the position of Director of the Columbus Zoo from 1973-1993.
“They cannot tranquilize. It takes five to ten minutes. All of us are sorry. All of us at the zoo are heartfelt about this thing. But thank goodness, a human being is alive today because of the decision.”
Hanna, who has a home near a gorilla compound in Rwanda, says they provide tens of millions to protect the gorillas and they have seen terrible things done to these animals who are in the wild.
And those who may be judging the parent of this child, who reports say was distracted by also attending to other children at the time, may want to heed Jack Hanna’s words.
“What happened, and how the child got in there is none of my business. But we just can’t build 15-foot walls around everything we have in the zoological park,” Hanna says.
According to the news site, critics of the family have even started a petition online. To this Hanna says, in response to a question by the reporter who asks if more should be done.
“I mean, I’ve seen children do all kinds of things in shopping centers. What do we do? Where do we make this thing end? Our safety of our visitor, of our animals, of our employees comes first,” says Hanna, who says they all spend hours upon hours each week developing safety measures, though he admits he “doesn’t know the situation in Cincinnati.”
Watch the CBS This Morning video video directly below.