Earlier this year, a tragic event occurred at the Cincinnati Zoo. A 3-year old boy somehow managed to wander into the gorilla exhibit, past the protective perimeter that separates visitors from the exhibit, as well as other protective measures. He fell 10 to 15 feet into the enclosure’s protective moat.
Of the 3 gorillas in the exhibit, 2 responded to the calls of zoo officials and retreated, while the large male gorilla, “Harambe”, advanced toward the child, eventually grabbed him, and dragged him around the enclosure.
A special team at the zoo responded to the situation by shooting the gorilla and killing it. The little boy was rushed to the hospital and found to have only received a concussion and minor injuries.
The media response to this event seemed to focus more on the killing of the gorilla than the saving of this young boy’s life. In the July 2016 issue of the Right to Life of Michigan newsletter, President Barbara Listing discussed how the reaction to this tragic story troubles her, “One news account even insinuated that Harambe was “murdered.” I may be old school, but I didn’t know that you could “murder” an animal. I thought that term was reserved for humans only.”
“In addition,” Listing states, “this story completely upstaged Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe. The story also overshadowed the fact that 69 people were shot in Chicago over the same weekend ending the deadliest May in that city in 21 years!”
“There were candlelight vigils. No, not for veterans. No, not for the children shot in Chicago – for Harambe. There were memorial services. Flowers and cards left at a gorilla statue. Protests. Even an online petition that collected more than 400,000 signatures. But it didn’t stop there.”
“A surprising number of people actually thought it was worth risking the little boy’s life in order to save the gorilla.” Listing goes on to give some graphic examples of people’s responses on social media, then wraps up her reaction, summarizing, “Social media was on fire! Many people were very blunt, if not crude. This incident should have been settled by “survival of the fittest.” If the kid got torn apart limb from limb, so be it.”
Where are our priorities in 21st century America?
Listing believes that this story clearly illustrates why the work of Right to Life is so vitally important, “Every day we must remain steadfast as we promote the sanctity of human life. The value of the human person, young and old, is under relentless assault. We need to stand tall and hold the line no matter the circumstance.”
She concludes, “I’m sad that this gorilla had to be shot. But I’m even more thankful that the little boy is okay. I urge the Cincinnati Zoo to fix the inadequate fence. My heart goes out to this mother and her family. I am especially praying for this three-year-old little boy. God, please get a hold of his life. With this level of determination, he could be a real world changer!”
Above all else, She’s more committed than ever to “promote the value and the sanctity of every human life,” and is very thankful to have likeminded friends and supporters by her side!
Please visit www.RTL.org for more information.