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Apes, Lions and, Well, Something Soon, I’m Sure

June 3, 2016

The new morality: Shame something I like and you’re evil; shame something I don’t like and you’re a hero.

I think we can all agree that killing that friendly* ape was very sad. (*friendly, but still freakishly strong without the best judgment in the world. The best intentioned ape will still accidently damage, probably irreparably, a small child.) We could wish it didn’t happen; SHOULD wish it didn’t happen. But it did.

Were the zoo officials wrong in killing it? No. God bless ‘em, because I’m sure it was a painful decision to make, but it was the right decision, made quickly. Zookeepers love animals. They also know they are wild animals, despite the cages and human contact they’ve experienced. And they are just animals.

Oh, how that “just” burns. Most of us have animals we love and don’t consider them “just animals.” No matter what righteous-anger animal lovers think, a human being has primacy over an animal. If my beloved mutt became rabid and attacked someone, I’d shoot him down. If my child did the same, I wouldn’t. I’d risk my own health to wrestle my kid down and get him treatment. Dog, not so much.

But I think we can all agree that the ape getting shot was sad.  Some people say it was a tragedy. I think if the kid had been killed, THAT would have been a tragedy.

What has truly bugged me is the self-righteous know-it-alls who think the mother is to blame.

Such people are either childless or have passive children who have never acted out. Basically, these people think moms should never go to the zoo with more than one child. They should never take their eyes or hands off said child. They should not be looking at the animals, or blinking or in any other way be less than a 100% vigilant mom.

Those people can kiss my glasses.

Let’s change the scenario for a moment. Mom is at a playground, her child on the swing. She turns for a moment to talk to another supermom. She looks back and sees her child being flung into a white, windowless van.

Was that mom’s fault? Would you tweet about what an awful mom she was?

Of course not. Neither is it the zoo mom’s fault that her child got away from her for a moment.

Hind-sight analysis sucks.

Could she have known what her kid could do? Sure, he may have had a precocious streak, but scale a wall and drop into an exhibit? Give me a break.

I remember loading my kids into the car. I was strapping Alyx into her baby seat, with Ben and Charli in the backseat. Suddenly the car started!

Ben had climbed into the driver’s seat, found my keys on the seat by Alyx’s car seat, figured out which was the car key, inserted it into the ignition and turned it. VROOM! The car started.

He was three-years-old!

I reached over and turned it off. But if I hadn’t, if he had slipped it into reverse and fallen on the pedal, driving the car backward into the house, would that have been my fault? Should I have anticipated all that?

No, and this mother had no way of anticipating what happened.  So stop shaming her!

The twittersphere goes wild with how horrible this mom was and that poor, poor ape.

People! Apes get killed in the wild all the time. The zookeepers did everything they could to make the exhibit safe for people and the ape. It worked for dozens of years.  One overactive kid evades all their planning.

Let it go.

Cecil the Lion of last year’s twitterfame was also sad. Unless, of course, you’re one of the villagers who Cecil and his brethren prey upon.  I honestly couldn’t care less about Cecil. I don’t care much for the dentist, either. Safari hunting sickens me, even if it keeps villagers safer.  I barely stomach hunting for food; hunting for sport sucks. It is legal there, though.  Personally, I’d switch dentists, just like I don’t go to Jimmie Johns anymore because the CEO kills elephants and other big, beautiful animals for the love of killing.  If you want to shame them, go for it.

But leave moms alone. There are truly negligent mothers, sure, but this lady wasn’t one of them.



One Comment leave one →
  1. June 20, 2016 2:23 pm

    And that “something soon” is gators. Oh my heart aches for those parents.

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