Harambe; did he need to die?

by GuillaumeChamplain on September 12, 2016 - 9:37pm

Guillaume Hebert

Nicole Fournier Sylvester

Case Study

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...  

 

Comments

I really liked the topic you wrote, especially since it has a big impact in the social media and on the news and share the same opinion although I dont really think that a human life is more valuable than the one of a animal, I believe that the life of the child was more important since he hasn't had the opportunity to live his life. However when you stated that ''this event opposes two set of moral values'', this shows a fallacy of false dilemma. Stating that there are only two sets of moral value means that there are only two alternative. In this specific topic some people would have thought about something else other than those alternatives.

Thank you for the comment. Indeed, I should have stated that “this event opposes two possible set of moral values”, which would be more appropriate.

I enjoyed reading your text. This is a topic interest me a lot because I believe that animals are equal to us. Of course I agree with you on the fact that if Harambe was dangerous for the kids life, he had to die. The problem here is that Harambe was not threatening the boys life. In fact some experts even said that he was acting as if he was protecting the child since there was so much noise. However, your text is very good and well written. I believe that the zoo should have tranquilized the gorilla because it might have saved his life as well as the little boys life. In my set of values, animals should not be treated inferior as humans. If a humans life and an animals life is endangered, I agree that we should put as a priority to save the humans first. BUT, animals should not be killed only because there was a possible danger. I believe that make no arm is a very important value that also goes for the animals. They made arm to Harambe by killing him. When we say all life is equal, this is all humans AND animals lives. This is why I believe that all the moral values are against the killing of Harambe. I strongly believe that in the first place, a wild animal as Harambe should not be in zoos because he should be free to live his life in the nature like all other gorillas. If zoos were abolished, wouldn't we escape situations such as this one?

Thank you for the comment. I understand your point of view and I agree that some animals should not be in zoos. I must also say that since I live in the country since my birth, the environment shaped my values concerning animals and how they should be treated.

I enjoyed reading your text. This is a topic interest me a lot because I believe that animals are equal to us. Of course I agree with you on the fact that if Harambe was dangerous for the kids life, he had to die. The problem here is that Harambe was not threatening the boys life. In fact some experts even said that he was acting as if he was protecting the child since there was so much noise. However, your text is very good and well written. I believe that the zoo should have tranquilized the gorilla because it might have saved his life as well as the little boys life. In my set of values, animals should not be treated inferior as humans. If a humans life and an animals life is endangered, I agree that we should put as a priority to save the humans first. BUT, animals should not be killed only because there was a possible danger. I believe that make no arm is a very important value that also goes for the animals. They made arm to Harambe by killing him. When we say all life is equal, this is all humans AND animals lives. This is why I believe that all the moral values are against the killing of Harambe. I strongly believe that in the first place, a wild animal as Harambe should not be in zoos because he should be free to live his life in the nature like all other gorillas. If zoos were abolished, wouldn't we escape situations such as this one?

I enjoyed reading your text. This is a topic interest me a lot because I believe that animals are equal to us. Of course I agree with you on the fact that if Harambe was dangerous for the kids life, he had to die. The problem here is that Harambe was not threatening the boys life. In fact some experts even said that he was acting as if he was protecting the child since there was so much noise. However, your text is very good and well written. I believe that the zoo should have tranquilized the gorilla because it might have saved his life as well as the little boys life. In my set of values, animals should not be treated inferior as humans. If a humans life and an animals life is endangered, I agree that we should put as a priority to save the humans first. BUT, animals should not be killed only because there was a possible danger. I believe that make no arm is a very important value that also goes for the animals. They made arm to Harambe by killing him. When we say all life is equal, this is all humans AND animals lives. This is why I believe that all the moral values are against the killing of Harambe. I strongly believe that in the first place, a wild animal as Harambe should not be in zoos because he should be free to live his life in the nature like all other gorillas. If zoos were abolished, wouldn't we escape situations such as this one?

I really enjoyed your topic since it is everywhere on the social media and seen as a joke. However, I think that there is a really good discussion around this. I think that from a biocentrism point of view, Harambe should have been sedated and not killed. However, it is true that time here was crucial and that they had to act fast. Therefore, I am wondering what you would think about who is to blame here. Did the zoo that is supose to protect animals from danger should increase their security in order to protect the animals such as the visitors, or is it the visitors fault. If it was the zoo's fault should we abolish them or close access to public in order to protect animals such as visitors? Anyway, I really enjoyed your opinion on the subject.

I chose your case study for the reason that this issue was everywhere in the news not too long ago and I found it completely terrible what happened to Harambe. Just like "Angeline Fournier" has written, I believed that animals are equal to humans and they should have the same rights to live. I understand that the zoo's Dangerous Animal Response Team didn't have a lot time to think about how they should act, but I believed that there were other options to try before killing the gorilla. The young boy was not injured, so why kill the gorilla? However, your text is well written. Your summary and your opinion are pretty straight forward.

I have chosen to reply to your case study because the Harambe case is one I hold very dear to my heart. Usually, I tend to value human life above all and do not care much about that of animals, but after spending much time on the Internet and hearing about Harambe, I decided to check it out, and found a newfound respect for beasts.Your article describes the subject very well and perfectly sums up both sides of the argument. My opinion is that the great silver back gorilla was killed unjustly, and more measures should have been taken to try and save the child and the gorilla. The child only got in there and was being played with by Harambe because of humans ; it was the negligence of the parents that allowed their child to get there, the shoddy construction of the zoo's enclosure and, as you said, the roaring of the crowds. This case actually changed my view of the moral of sanctity of life, which I would argue pro-Harmabe people believe in, as it should include all life, not only human life. We are not the only ones on this planet and must share it with all other things living, and should not go killing other creatures because of our own negligence. These are the reasons I am against the killing of Harambe and believe the parents should face at least some charges for negligence of their child. I ask you know, what do you think could have been done in order to prevent Harmabe's death.

Your topic most definitely caught my attention as it is one that is very present today on social media. I understand your point of view that Harambe had to be shot in order to save the life of the child. On the other hand, why should the gorilla be punished a human misstep? Gorillas are animals who are very attached to their children. They take great care of them throughout their childhood and are very protective. Harambe more than likely thought the child was a defenseless gorilla and he simply dragged him away from the roaring crowd he viewed as a potential danger. Individual freedom is a value I hold dear and Harambe shouldn't have been killed due to a human error. Do you believe Harambe was protecting the child or trying to harm it?