POV | Accountability at the Zoo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

POV | Accountability at the Zoo

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Some people are still steamed about the gorilla tragedy at the Cincinnati Zoo. Zoo director Thane Maynard is basically saying no one is at fault – especially the zoo.

How in the world could a three-year old child manage to gain entrance to the gorilla enclosure in the first place? Whatever the answer, it seems to me that the Zoo’s safety infrastructure fell far short of what’s necessary. After the tragedy, director Maynard emphatically said, “The barrier is safe.” Except it was not. He took zero responsibility for the failure of the barrier to keep the child out.

Then, as an eyewitness has reported, any three year old who tells his mother “I want to swim with the gorilla,” needs more strict parental attention than he obviously got. If not for his mother’s negligence, Harambe, would be alive today.

What I find disturbing is that Zoo Director Maynard showed little if any remorse for the gorilla’s unfortunate death. He talked repeatedly about the zoo’s loss, as though Harambe losing his life was not particularly important. Asked if would do anything differently looking back, he said “We would make the same decision.”  In other words, a gorilla was killed by the very humans who were supposed to protect it, and nothing can even be learned from this?

Once the child did manage to get into the enclosure, sadly, I feel zoo personnel acted responsibly by shooting the gorilla instead of just hoping everything would turn out all right. This is because they had no other options available to them at the time. Some have said he should have been sedated, but experts I’ve spoken with tell me a 450-pound gorilla would not go down quickly even if he were struck with a perfectly placed dart. Others are certain they know that the gorilla was only protecting the boy, but they can’t know a wild animal’s intentions.

Even though it won’t bring Harambe back, if Director Maynard believes there isn’t anything to learn from this, I think the zoo board should ask for his resignation.

I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.

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