Endangered Gorillla or Child?

prizrak

Forum Addict
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Messages
21,601
Location
No, sleep, till, BROOKLYN
Car(s)
11 Xterra Pro-4x, 12 'stang GT
Endangered Gorillla or Child?

This was shared on the book of faces
Amanda O'donoghue said:
I am going to try to clear up a few things that have been weighing on me about Harambe and the Cinci Zoo since I read the news this afternoon.
I have worked with Gorillas as a zookeeper while in my twenties (before children) and they are my favorite animal (out of dozens) that I have ever worked closely with. I am gonna go ahead and list a few facts, thoughts and opinions for those of you that aren't familiar with the species itself, or how a zoo operates in emergency situations.

Now Gorillas are considered 'gentle giants' at least when compared with their more aggressive cousins the chimpanzee, but a 400+ pound male in his prime is as strong as roughly 10 adult humans. What can you bench press? OK, now multiply that number by ten. An adult male silverback gorilla has one job, to protect his group. He does this by bluffing or intimidating anything that he feels threatened by.

Gorillas are considered a Class 1 mammal, the most dangerous class of mammals in the animal kingdom, again, merely due to their size and strength. They are grouped in with other apes, tigers, lions, bears, etc.
While working in an AZA accredited zoo with Apes, keepers DO NOT work in contact with them. Meaning they do NOT go in with these animals. There is always a welded mesh barrier between the animal and the humans.
In more recent decades, zoos have begun to redesign enclosures, removing all obvious caging and attempting to create a seamless view of the animals for the visitor to enjoy watching animals in a more natural looking habitat. *this is great until little children begin falling into exhibits* which of course can happen to anyone, especially in a crowded zoo-like setting.

I have watched this video over again, and with the silverback's postering, and tight lips, it's pretty much the stuff of any keeper's nightmares, and I have had MANY while working with them. This job is not for the complacent. Gorillas are kind, curious, and sometimes silly, but they are also very large, very strong animals. I always brought my OCD to work with me. checking and rechecking locks to make sure my animals and I remained separated before entering to clean.

I keep hearing that the Gorilla was trying to protect the boy. I do not find this to be true. Harambe reaches for the boys hands and arms, but only to position the child better for his own displaying purposes.
Males do very elaborate displays when highly agitated, slamming and dragging things about. Typically they would drag large branches, barrels and heavy weighted balls around to make as much noise as possible. Not in an effort to hurt anyone or anything (usually) but just to intimidate. It was clear to me that he was reacting to the screams coming from the gathering crowd.

Harambe was most likely not going to separate himself from that child without seriously hurting him first (again due to mere size and strength, not malicious intent) Why didn't they use treats? well, they attempted to call them off exhibit (which animals hate), the females in the group came in, but Harambe did not. What better treat for a captive animal than a real live kid!
They didn't use Tranquilizers for a few reasons, A. Harambe would've taken too long to become immobilized, and could have really injured the child in the process as the drugs used may not work quickly enough depending on the stress of the situation and the dose B. Harambe would've have drowned in the moat if immobilized in the water, and possibly fallen on the boy trapping him and drowning him as well.
Many zoos have the protocol to call on their expertly trained dart team in the event of an animal escape or in the event that a human is trapped with a dangerous animal. They will evaluate the scene as quickly and as safely as possible, and will make the most informed decision as how they will handle the animal.
I can't point fingers at anyone in this situation, but we need to really evaluate the safety of the animal enclosures from the visitor side. Not impeding that view is a tough one, but there should be no way that someone can find themselves inside of an animal's exhibit.
I know one thing for sure, those keepers lost a beautiful, and I mean gorgeous silverback and friend. I feel their loss with them this week. As educators and conservators of endangered species, all we can do is shine a light on the beauty and majesty of these animals in hopes to spark a love and a need to keep them from vanishing from our planet. Child killers, they are not. It's unfortunate for the conservation of the species, and the loss of revenue a beautiful zoo such as Cinci will lose. tragedy all around.

*me working (very carefully) with a 400+ pound silverback circa 2009
As far as value of life goes, humans automatically win but even more so with kids. Kids are dumb (well ignorant really) because they are kids and their brains aren't developed enough to understand simple things like danger from a wild animal. This is why we have juvenile courts btw. So to suggest sacrificing a child is plain ignorant. Sacrificing parents though could be justified :)
 
Last edited:

SirEdward

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
1,980
Location
Bologna, Italy
Car(s)
VW Golf MkV
As far as value of life goes, humans automatically win but even more so with kids. Kids are dumb (well ignorant really) because they are kids and their brains aren't developed enough to understand simple things like danger from a wild animal. This is why we have juvenile courts btw. So to suggest sacrificing a child is plain ignorant. Sacrificing parents though could be justified :)
Great piece of information, Prizrak!

I think what happened also shows us that we are animals, just like the gorilla. When a mammal sees his cubs in danger, it will kill the danger to save them, even if it was somewhat friendly to that creature early on. We have done exactly the same: we have killed the ape to save the child.
 

prizrak

Forum Addict
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Messages
21,601
Location
No, sleep, till, BROOKLYN
Car(s)
11 Xterra Pro-4x, 12 'stang GT
Great piece of information, Prizrak!

I think what happened also shows us that we are animals, just like the gorilla. When a mammal sees his cubs in danger, it will kill the danger to save them, even if it was somewhat friendly to that creature early on. We have done exactly the same: we have killed the ape to save the child.
Thanks!
Of course, we are nothing but slightly smarter apes really.
 

TC

aka TomCat
Joined
Dec 11, 2005
Messages
11,436
Not getting killed by gorillas is my favorite part of my white privilege.
 

LeVeL

Forum Addict
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
13,265
Honestly, the more I think about this, the more I realize that if that was my child, I'd be down in that enclosure shooting at and wrestling that gorilla (and losing quite badly).
 

SirEdward

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
1,980
Location
Bologna, Italy
Car(s)
VW Golf MkV
So... a black child fallen into the cage of a gorilla is white people's fault and the death of the gorilla is because of white privilege; and the best thing they come up with to justify this idiocy is equating black people to apes? Oh, yes, that's not racist at all...

the irony of life against idiots is superb.
 

LeVeL

Forum Addict
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
13,265
So... a black child fallen into the cage of a gorilla is white people's fault and the death of the gorilla is because of white privilege; and the best thing they come up with to justify this idiocy is equating black people to apes? Oh, yes, that's not racist at all...

the irony of life against idiots is superb.
Not to completely derail the thread, but keep that in mind next time a news anchor talks about racism :wink: Lots of actual examples of racism out there that should be discussed and addressed, but I find that a lot of the time the "r" word gets thrown out for no reason, sadly. It's why I can't stand #BlackLivesMatter - they spend too much time on BS stories (e.g. Mike Brown) when they should be focusing on the cases that are actually outrageous (e.g. Eric Garner).
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
DONOR
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
17,804
Location
42 miles outside of Chicago
Car(s)
‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
Endangered Gorillla or Child?

Or they should stop pulling the race card. Fuck off, stop trying to make your skin pigment something special. It's not. Move on.

Not directly aiming this at you. Just boxing my frustration with this half assed racism bullshit.
 

prizrak

Forum Addict
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Messages
21,601
Location
No, sleep, till, BROOKLYN
Car(s)
11 Xterra Pro-4x, 12 'stang GT
Or they should stop pulling the race card. Fuck off, stop trying to make your skin pigment something special. It's not. Move on.

Not directly aiming this at you. Just boxing my frustration with this half assed racism bullshit.
It's ignorant at best to dismiss racism as something that is not that very serious, it absolutely does happen and there are plenty of cases where people are either killed or seriously injured over it. For example search and frisk BS in NYC got into a lot of trouble for stopping mostly brown people (and not producing a whole lot of results).

However like Lev said, a lot of crap ends up on the news or viral that really shouldn't and takes away from the overall issues as you pretty much just demonstrated with your post.*

*Just to make it clear, I'm not attacking you simply saying that all the BS that comes through breeds the kind of attitude you just expressed.
 
Last edited:

mpicco

Forum Addict
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
5,407
Location
Portugal
Car(s)
R19
But when you pull the race card for absolutely everything, it lowers the importance of the term to triviality and real, important issues related to racism get diluted down to non importance. It's the Jack and the wolf concept.
 

Interrobang

Forum Addict
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
8,145
I think we shouldn't read too much into what some few, loud idiots on the internet are tweeting.

Someone, somewhere said something stupid today. Don?t make it bigger than it is.
 

LeVeL

Forum Addict
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
13,265
For example search and frisk BS in NYC got into a lot of trouble for stopping mostly brown people (and not producing a whole lot of results).
Would you say that "brown people" commit a disproportionate amount of crimes in NYC? Because that would be one justification for disproportionate police stops. In any case, stop and frisk violates the 4A and the fact that NY courts allowed it is a very, very bad sign. I try to stay the hell out of NY.

- - - Updated - - -

But when you pull the race card for absolutely everything, it lowers the importance of the term to triviality and real, important issues related to racism get diluted down to non importance. It's the Jack and the wolf concept.
Unfortunately, this. Plenty of real cases to focus on without the need to BS ones.
 

sonza68

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Florissant, MO, US
Car(s)
'00 Cougar/'07 Explorer
I came across this when looking for videos regarding Harambe. It's 1996, so video is limited and poor quality, but the female in this case was indeed acting very different to the recent event.

 

_HighVoltage_

Captain Volvo
Joined
Aug 5, 2006
Messages
9,964
Car(s)
1998 Volvo S70 T5M
Not to completely derail the thread, but keep that in mind next time a news anchor talks about racism :wink: Lots of actual examples of racism out there that should be discussed and addressed, but I find that a lot of the time the "r" word gets thrown out for no reason, sadly. It's why I can't stand #BlackLivesMatter - they spend too much time on BS stories (e.g. Mike Brown) when they should be focusing on the cases that are actually outrageous (e.g. Eric Garner).
I agree, in this case race has nothing to do with the incident, and those tweets you linked to are idiotic.

However, each coin has two sides: In their report of the incident the Daily Mail focused on the criminal history of the father.

What does the father's criminal record have to do with the child falling behind the fence...especially since the dad wasn't even at the zoo that day.
 

LeVeL

Forum Addict
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
13,265

SirEdward

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
1,980
Location
Bologna, Italy
Car(s)
VW Golf MkV
I came across this when looking for videos regarding Harambe. It's 1996, so video is limited and poor quality, but the female in this case was indeed acting very different to the recent event.

Thanks.

Again, isn't that the same that happens when the other way around happens? A gentle human takes care of the injured little one, the animal (not all of the times) understands and doesn't attack. Same thing going on here. The human is aggressive or threatening, expect bad reactions.

We aren't different from other mammals, in this aspect. We just got smarter than them and have guns.
 

mpicco

Forum Addict
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
5,407
Location
Portugal
Car(s)
R19
To be absolutely fair, the older video shows a female and what happened a few days ago involved a male.
I've heard that several experts testified that silverback males sometimes just lose their temper or throw tantrums out of the blue. Shouting people and maybe some panicked action by the child might increase the chances of this happening.
The child was most definitely in danger, I'm mostly pissed off that the kid got to fall down in the first place, and by the fact this kind of animal is still caged like this for our amusement.
 
Top