Silverback Gorillas and Other Creatures

June 3, 2016

When I went on Facebook today my feed was filled with links to stories and opinions about the terrible tragedy that happened last week at the Cincinnati Zoo. So many people have been so quick to blame the mother when her son fell into the enclosure of Harambe, a 400 pound silverback gorilla. No one has mentioned the elephant in the room–the zoo. I love animals but is it necessary to keep animals in captivity to teach children about them. Harambe was born a captive and lived in space that is way too small for his own nature. Thank goodness the little boy survived this terrible accident.

 

When I was 4 years old my family went to Jungle Habitat in New Jersey. When you went to Jungle Habitat the animals roamed freely and you drove your car through the park–no one thought that was a bad idea! This park closed in 1976. When we got to the park my parents told my sisters and I not to roll down the windows. It was a very hot day and we were packed in Ford Maverick that included pleather seats that stuck to your skin when you started to

sweat. The next thing my mom heard me say was "It is so hot" and my window was rolled all the way down. Looking right at me and my open window was a tiger. Lucky for me there was also a park ranger with quick reflexes in a jeep. He drove the jeep right in between the tiger and our car. My parents yelled at me to roll that window up. This all happened in few seconds. Big thank you to the park ranger that I am alive today and have a good story to tell.

 

This was before social media could blame people they don't know for accidents they did not witness. A zoo is place that you take your kids and is supposed to be safe for children. It seems that all the people involved did whatever was necessary to save the life of a child. I guess I just sick and tired of hate and judgement being the most popular news feed. We can do better.

 

Ouch! I just fell off my soapbox...more about art tomorrow.

 

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