2 thoughts on ““What kind of parents neglect their child long enough for him to enter a gorilla enclosure?”

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with your post.
    The mother is NOT at fault. The zoo did the best thing *under the circumstances*…they saved the child.

    I say this as a childless-by-choice, fierce animal lover who adopts strays, donates generously to numerous endangered species conservation groups, and who prefers animals to people most of the time.

    But the word “most” is key: again, the zoo did the right thing to save the child. And the mother, whohad three other children with her…and in a *sea* of othet child zoo visiters…is NOT at fault.

    Do people honestly think she wanted her kid to jump in the gorilla exhibt?

    That said…I DO think that zoos ought to brainstorm ways in which to maximize safty. I also wish there was a way to teach *all* humans, regardless of age, to be *quiet* when viewing the zoo animals. That the animals are caged/enclosed bothes me less than the fact that the creatures are subjected to human *noise* 12 hours a day. We are such a loud species and so oblvious to it.

    Which is part of which, as I understand it, what furthey agitated the poor gorilla: people and kids started screaming. Great apes also scream in the wild when they are having territorial fights: the noise is a signal that the apes territory is being threatened.

    So animals in zoos are being constantly stressed.

    However, again, the mother is NOT at fault. My heart goes out to her and her family. I am sorry people have to hurl insults on her due to what you said in your column: that, when confronted with uncomfortable feelings, humans tend to either feel them and work through them…or, sadly as is the case more often than not, push back against the person who triggered those feelings in a case of mis-placed projection.

    1. Thank you for your thought-out response, Deb!

      I completely agree with you about zoos looking to maximize safety, though I don’t in any way blame the zoo because they obviously didn’t think something like this was likely or they would have planned differently.

      Your point about people learning how to be respectful of animals is also important. Personally, though I’ve enjoyed taking my children to zoos, I prefer for wild animals to be in the wild. Even at my home, I don’t cage our rabbits; they have free range of our yard and have created natural burrows underground to keep them out of inclement weather. No, my yard isn’t picturesque but my rabbits are happy. :)

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