My opinion on this is as long as I don't see a video with that gorilla about to rip that kids face off, the zoo overreacted. Gorilla's beat their chests and signify at things they perceive as threats. 100% the child could have been hurt when Harambe pulled him away from the crowd of screaming people, but is that worth killing the gorilla?
Erring on the side of caution is one thing, but the complete lack of respect for that gorilla's life pisses me off. From the zoo director condescendingly talking about "the real world" to Jack Hanna acting like everyone's stupid for asking if they did the right thing. The complete lack of empathy and regret these "caretakers" show is disturbing.
This may sound harsh to say, and I obviously am not speaking about the child in question, but we need to do away with the mythology that human life > animal life.
As a species we need to learn to respect life, period.
"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different."
I know this probably stems from the belief that man was given "dominion" over animals, but I look at that as stewardship at best...complete bullshit at worst.
Let's face it, people can be fucking horrible. There are over 12,000,000 sociopaths & psychopaths in the US alone. Think about that. Everyday you pass people who are completely incapable of feeling empathy. Some of them even take pleasure in hurting other people. We all have the same potential for good or evil inside all of us and too often, way too many of us choose to live down to the worst sides of our nature.
Animals for the most part especially primates are alot like us, they are intelligent, have personalities, wants, needs and can reason. They are also capable of great empathy.
If we were to ever encounter space aliens (shut up, I'm making a point lol), who are incredibly advanced and decided to bring our asses back to Jupiter and thought it was cute how we tried to communicate at times, but were inherently less worthy of life or respect, we would call them monsters. So then what does that make us and how we treat animals, daily?
I have 4 dogs and they are my kids and family, hate to say it, but their lives come wayyyyy before alot of people's in my world. Seriously. If someone were to mistreat one of my little poonkins...well, let me not finish that thought.
Anyways, one of the good things that has come out of this mess is the hilarious memes that also carry social commentary...from #BlackTwitter™.
All jokes aside, this is an important discussion for us to have. If we have to have zoo's, they should ONLY exist for educational reasons and the safety, physical, emotional and mental well being of the animals should be paramount.
I honestly can't wait for robotics to advance to the point where we don't need zoos anymore and we can focus on sustainable developmen and conservation of our planet.
Think about it: High speed travel to underwater "hotels" where we can observe marine life in their natural habitat as opposed to kidnapping these creatures and forcing them to live in aquariums...sounds dope right? The future is gonna be an awesome place...can't wait till we finally get there.