Harambe; did he need to die?
by GuillaumeChamplain on September 12, 2016 - 9:37pm
Nicole Fournier Sylvester
Ethical Issues in the Social Sciences
September 12, 2016
Harambe; did he need to die?
The article “Killing of Ohio Zoo Gorilla Sparks Petitions, Outrage” from the report “Voice of America News” describe how Harambe, an endangered male lowland gorilla, was killed after a young boy fell into his enclosure on May 28, 2016. A video of the incident is present on the internet and animal lovers around the globe reacted to it. We can see the gorilla dragging the boy trough a moat filled with water and making him stand up for a bit. Immediately after, the gorilla grabbed the young boys’ leg and drags him further away while the lad’s head was hitting the concrete. The depict how Harambe had control of the boy for approximatively ten minutes before the zoo's Dangerous Animal Response Team shot him to death. The zoo director Thane Maynard said that the gorilla was acting erratically due to the screaming of the excited people around him ant that the officials believed they had no choice to kill the 17-year-old primate. Maynard said that since Harambe was a huge gorilla of 181 kilogram, tranquilizing the ape would have taken to long and would have exposed the young boy to more danger. The lad spent a few hours at the hospital before returning home, virtually unhurt. This event went viral extremity quickly and social media were buzzing with outrage over the death of Harambe. The gorilla is now part of the internet with petition including his name and mems running wild on the net.
The issue, of course, is whether or not Harambe should have been killed. This event opposes two set of moral values. On one side, there’s the fact that human life is fundamentally valuable and that harm should always be avoided. On the other side, some people believe that taking the time needed to tranquillize Harambe would be acting for the greater good and that the primate was not at fault here, and did not deserve to die because of the child and his parents. The value is security on both sides since the question is about the security of either the child or Harambe. My opinion is, if the fact that tranquilizing the gorilla would have taken too much time is true, that the death of Harambe is justified, even if the primate was not at fault. It is true that any human life is more valuable than an animal life and that the lad could have been badly hurt or worst. The real issues are that whether or not the enclosure was safely constructed and whether or not such animals should remain in captivity. The reactions would have been extremely harsher if the child died instead of the Gorilla and Harambe would maybe have been killed afterward. After the incident, the zoo had to close its twitter account since it was flooded with Harambe memes and a petition was running for a while to charge the boy’s parents with negligence. The killing of Harambe is still viral on internet and I ask myself why do some people care as much about it to this very day?
VOA News. Killing of Ohio Zoo Gorilla Sparks Petitions, Outrage. Voice of America News / FIND, 2016. ProQuest Ebrary, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.champlaincollege.qc.ca/pqrl/docview/1...