By now, you’ve probably heard about how a three-year-old boy fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo on Saturday (perhaps of his own accord, since he went “under the rail, through wires and over the moat wall”).
17-year-old, 400-lb gorilla Harambe dragged the boy around for a while before eventually getting shot dead by zoo officials. It was the only available option, officials said, since tranquilizers would’ve taken effect too slowly and the boy’s life was their priority.
Blame is being tossed around everywhere right now, but I wanted to draw attention to a now-deleted Facebook post by mother Michelle Gregg shortly after the incident took place:
I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers today. What started off as a wonderful day turned into a scary one. For those of you that have seen the news or been on social media that was my son that fell in the gorilla exhibit at the zoo. God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him. My son is safe and was able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes… no broken bones or internal injuries.As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids. Accidents happen but I am thankful that the right people were in the right place today. Thank you to everyone that helped me and my son today and most importantly God for being the awsome [sic] God that He is.
It’s an unbelievably callous thing to say when a gorilla was killed because of human irresponsibility. God didn’t save her baby. If anything, God put her baby in harm’s way. And God was perhaps seconds away from witnessing a gruesome death without zookeeper intervention. To quote Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the nearby Columbus Zoo, “I’ve seen [Harambe] take a green coconut, which you can’t bust open with a sledgehammer and squish it like this.”
Even if this wasn’t her fault, because you can’t always control what your kids do, this is no different than someone thanking God for a successful surgery when the doctors and nurses did all the heavy lifting. It’s misplaced gratitude.
Regardless of blame, a gorilla was killed so her son could be safe. A little empathy wouldn’t hurt, along with some real gratitude to the zoo officials who took quick action to save him. Hell, if anything, the zoo staff thwarted the will of God to rescue her son.