The Tarzan That Will Never Be: Did Harambe die for neglect, or money?

And, the moral of the story is … if your three-year old, rambunctious, out-of-control, annoying child won’t stop bouncing around and yelling, “I wanna see the gorilla! I wanna see the gorilla! I wanna see the gorilla!” … “accidentally” pushing him … um, I mean, losing track of him long enough for him to climb into the cage won’t work …

The zoo keepers will just shoot the gorilla and throw the child back.

Funny … if you forget about the tragedy that befell the beast that paid the price for a very, very bad parent.

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The onlookers watched, as per the media, in “horror”, as a 450 pound gorilla by the name of Harambe, at the Cincinnati Zoo, took custody of an abandoned toddler who fell into his exhibit, until zoo keepers took it upon themselves to shoot the 17 year old, RARE, silver-back gorilla. All the while, his mother, Michelle Gregg (a daycare administrator… yep … I said it), yelled over the fence, “I’m right here.” Where, you ask?

No … not leaping in after the child (at least not until zoo officials arrived and other parents were trying to get in first). Not running to rescue him. No … not even aware of where the child was until onlookers screamed at seeing the child in the habitat. She was standing on the side of the enclosed gorilla exhibit, with her three other children presumably (two older and one younger), food in hand (I’m adding this … no proof…), suddenly interested in the child she had so “conveniently” lost track of before, “Sir, is he wearing green shorts?” she had to ask the guy trying to get into the exhibit and talk to the child.

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Yes, I am addressing her failure as a parent – from a parent. We all understand that there are moments in life when we can lose track of ourselves, our belongings, and Heaven forbid, even our children. Those moments are few and far between and typically come during times of heavy distractions, crowded places, and stress. But, not at a zoo – next to a gorilla exhibit. I won’t let my child (who borders on adult hood … not 3 years old) stand at the edge of a cliff or stick his hand under the hood of a moving engine anymore than I would a friend who was my age. They can do it when I’m not around … but not when I’m there. (and, yes, as one of three other children, I can most assuredly say that we kids went to the zoo, the national parks, toured part of the U.S., went up on mountains, and did a LOT of things where there were opportunities for danger but never ONCE .. not ONCE … were we so ignored that we were even near danger … so the fact she has four children … doesn’t play into it.). Would you let your child bounce on the railing of a 17 foot drop? What about a drop leading into a cage of lions or gorillas? She didn’t even know what the railings or gorilla looked like, claiming her son tripped over some small rocks and fell directly into the gorilla exhibit – which is far … far … far from the truth in a galaxy … somewhere in outerspace. For the mom to claim it was the grace of God that saved her child is a CLEAR indicator that she’s good with the thinking error of misdirection, trying to get attention off of herself. However, Ms Gregg was partially right. God did save the child … by letting him fall in with a species of gorilla that has historically been known to protect people (especially those kept in isolation for long periods of time and familiar with people) – and not the tiger exhibit!!

Here’s the deal … parents are infamous for doing stupid things with their kids at national parks and zoos, putting them on ledges, next to dangerous animals, or other situations that are more than ‘risky’ (and children frequently get hurt from this … usually resulting in law suits against the locations for not babysitting the parents and teaching them not to be stupid). Oft times, parents let their kids walk alone, clearly having no common sense, and lose their kids. Some parents are just outright mentally disturbed and leave their kids behind on purpose. But, for parents who have a difficult time parenting (which is to say, the act of actually watching and interacting with their children … perhaps such as a young couple like Michelle Gregg and her husband), for only a few dollars, they make child leashes, strollers, and other restraint devices. For example – car seats provide an excellent way to keep a child from bouncing around in and out of a seat belt in a car and risking death during a car accident. We might call the collision of the vehicles an accident, but the failure to properly secure ones’ child would be considered harm and neglect.

So – why’s the zoo any different? If this were the giraffe exhibit … no one would be freaking out – albeit, the parents would be just as wrong. If this were a 300 foot precipice and not a 15 foot drop – would people be very supportive of just “turning away” for a few moments? And, mom (and dad – although Deonne wasn’t there) should be at the zoo for their children, interacting with their children, not feasting on cotton candy and corn dogs whilst utilizing the services of the zoo as a babysitter. That would mean they’re potentially into themselves and not so much their family … but I don’t want to speculate…

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Notice the empty car-seat selfie?

But, let’s not stop with an out-of-control three year old and a neglectful parent … or perhaps “not” neglectful, but just not observant enough to take note of the (at least) few minutes it took to climb through a railing, pass through wires, and get over a wall, to circumvent the gorilla exhibit (and be thankful this took place at the gorilla exhibit … next was the lion exhibit and we all know how that would have turned out!!). After all, in one account (the one she posted on Facebook), she was taking a photo. In direct communications with the person who took the video, she was consoling her daughter. So – there are already some inaccuracies during and after … you know, “lies.

What about the zookeepers? Jack Hannah, a widely celebrated celebrity animal expert, supported the decision to put Harambe down. He drew his conclusions from the fact that Harambe was already startled and that a tranquilizer dart could have taken as long as 10 minutes to put the animal to sleep. Furthermore, the sting from a tranquilizer dart could have caused Harambe to freak out and accidentally throw the child or crush him.

Of course, for anyone taking notes … the “sting” from a bullet would have the exact, same effect. And, for anyone looking closely at the details, 20 darts would have had a compounding effect taking seconds (although, that costs money). Oh… and for any of you wondering, yes, a bundle of bananas, clearing the crowd and the noise, and a well trained zoo keeper could have calmed Harambe down. They do it all the time … in fact, every time they enter the cage or the gorillas get excited by people. Oh, and don’t forget that fact that the zookeepers told Ms. Gregg that she couldn’t jump in after her child or that would, “make the gorilla aggressive“. Yes … you read that right. Going in would make the gorilla aggressive. Ergo, prior to going in, the gorilla would “not” be aggressive. See a trend with the inaccuracy of stories being told during and after the fact? And, while I’m an absolute advocate against the 1/2 of animal rights activists whose heads are up their rear ends (such as those that ended the Barnum and Bailey Circus), zoos that do not have the wherefore all to keep their animals protected from the stupidity of human beings and shoot them – should not be left with those animals.

Man enters wild ….

Man steals animals from their homes as children, desecrating the sanctity of family and leaving the animals scarred and terrified…

Man keeps animals in confinement to use as attractions for money and profit, which, if you just pretend it’s okay, then it is …

Child falls in cage supposedly “accidentally” …

Animal acts on instinct (which isn’t even to harm)…

Man kills animal out of fear (of lawsuit… not the safety of the child) …

And, only Heaven hears the tears that fall for the creature that never asked for any of this.

Yeah … a little sobby – but who else is going to cry for Harambe? If you won’t – I will. If it was my child? HAHAHAHA … would have never happened – so I don’t have to even dignify that question with a response. Was Harambe hurting the child? No … according to the video non-expert experts – “not yet” (as if all the non-expert media want you to believe it “was” going to happen and justify the shooting …). But, according to other animal expertsthe gorilla was NOT upset (you know … like what the zookeepers had previously said). Setting aside the LACK of violent nature of the silver-back gorillas (contrary to the juxtaposed non-violent/violent portrayal in Congo), and setting aside the history of gorillas caring for children who fall in to their habitats thanks to idiot parents, one of the benefits science has is the amount of time spent in observation and study of gorillas. There are certain habits and behaviors of the animals that precede violence. Even had Harambe been afraid, his behavior would have been different (ever seen a gorilla beat his chest?).

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This brings me back to the second level of accountability against the zoos. Why does the celebrity Jack Hanna oppose the professional opinions of gorilla experts (clarifying that Jack Hanna is not really an “animal expert,” but has a lot of knowledge about a lot of animals and is not qualified to speak to gorilla behavior)? Why did the zoo open fire on a 17 year old gorilla?

We could speculate, conspire, assume, and conclude all we want – but not being in their heads, there’s no way to know, although I would argue that there is a clear path between money and fear that lead to their actions … not the safety of a child (especially since it seems that the media is relying on the completely ignorant feedback of non-experts like the Cincinnati Fire Chief, Marc Monahan who claimed the gorilla was “violently dragging the child around” … because, you know, he knows “sssssssoooooo much” about gorillas – NOT. Guess he’s never seen them in the wild … or in the zoo even). On the other hand, by Monday evening, 210,000 people had already tweeted, agreeing and calling for the punishment of Michelle Gregg for neglect of her child; to which she’s pulled her Facebook post thanking the zoo for killing the gorilla and replaced many of her selfies with pictures of her children that are now magically important. Sure, there’s enough evidence to point to the fact that the zoo reacted in a counter-lawsuit method that was overly aggressive and absolutely unnecessary, but that conclusion will have to include some very thorough investigations which will hopefully be followed by some beatings. At least the zoo should have had security cameras all around, including pointing at the fence where the spectators stand, watching over it from a central point (although I’m not advocating for zoos to be babysitters or caretakers of stupid people). And, while the zoo is clearly wrong and there will have to be some reprimands (of which I advocate for the gorillas to be given to a good zoo that takes good care of their animals … not “celebrity” care), Michelle Gregg needs some mental help.

If you look at the new cover of her Facebook page, it’s not her selfie, but a picture of her kids that has an odd distinction to it thanks to my son pointing this out…

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Whilst small and difficult to see the crop in the photo – here are three of the four kids – very young – and now ‘magically’ the front of her Facebook page and public attention …

 

Oh … and she will sue. Sorry to say … but I’d bet my bottom dollar she’s already spoken with attorneys (whether she follows through or not). However, it’s not only the problem with humanity mishandling the treatment of rare and endangered species such as the silver-back gorilla, but the mishandling of one another. Human-kind’s failure to be accountable has left us disabled. We’re failing in holding people accountable for their behavior. The boy – he went through a lot and has suffered enough … probably. Did he learn anything? Only a professional could tell. But, the parents have clearly learned nothing, as per Michelle Gregg’s post about “God” saving her child. She’s feeding on social media more than the chili-cheese corn dogs at the zoo. Her deleted post says: “As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child …

Really? Did anyone say anything about that in the media prior to her post? Nope.

… and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids.” – Except at gorilla exhibits apparently..??

Accidents happen but I’m thankful the right people were in the right place today.” Really? By accidents does she mean shooting the gorilla … or … her child being ignored for several minutes as he climbed into a gorilla exhibit and fell of a 15 foot wall? Last I checked … a child climbing into a gorilla exhibit is not an “accident.” Spilling your ice cream is an accident. Having auto-correct change your text into something embarrassing is an “accident”. Sending a child into (after all … she did say, “whose kid is this” instead of grabbing her child)… I mean, losing track of a child in front of a gorilla exhibit … or ANYWHERE inside a zoo with lions, tigers, and bears … is just neglect … pure and simple.

Listen – multiple kids is no excuse. Lots of single parents do it everyday. If you can’t handle it – don’t go. After all, where might she lose track again? Who else, or what else will pay the price for her ignorance? And, the lies are not okay – and are of the utmost concern. This has never happened at this zoo for the past 37 years … so it’s more than an “accident.” Ms. Gregg has pulled her Facebook posts down to hide some of her comments – also – of concern. And, Deonne’s background – DOES NOT MATTER. He was NOT there. But, what does matter, is even though he’s supposedly turned his life around since his release in 2006 – that’s a lot of B.S. He has multiple kids with different wives, isn’t committed to marrying them, and is playing in the middle. Even the old girlfriend with one of his children has released her commentary on just how out of control she’s sure the boy is based on daddy, alone. Of course, I could set aside Deonne’s past and currently ongoing bad decision making, if he wasn’t in all those selfies and Ms. Gregg was letting herself go down the primrose path of “I love you,” to an ex-con who has no intentions of being a father. Ms. Gregg is making some really bad decisions for herself and her family – lying – and when the officials come around suddenly wants to jump in and has to be told, ‘no,’ so she doesn’t upset the gorilla … c’mon. “No – hold me back! No … don’t let me go in. I’m gonna jump down a 15 foot wall now that all y’all parents are trying to and the authorities and cameras are here. No … I mean it … don’t let me go in … or I’ll SUE you!!

(in monotone/Willy Wonka style:) “No, help, police, Ms. Gregg, please don’t jump in.” … *sigh* (that was a dramatic re-inaction based on true events).

So – count my tally in: 210,001. I know it doesn’t seem like a major issue for all of us to get involved with since it’s so far away and in any other situation I’d say: doesn’t concern us. But – it does. It took the whole of humanity to be apathetic enough to fall this far. It will take the whole of humanity speaking up to do just the opposite. And, hey, I’m willing to apologize if I’m wrong about this whole thing. And, to be honest, I’d rather be wrong. No one wants to think that the gorilla was hurt for no reason at all and that a child was neglected. And, I hope you’ll have the decency to tell me if I was wrong. But, there’s a clear line between being empathetic for someone who deserves it and being apathetic and ignoring the facts. (that’s the difference between trying to understand her and say hey – let’s just try to understand what she’s going through … without actually caring about what really took place and being superficial … vs putting yourself in her shoes and having to ask yourself … wait … would I lie and hide things if it was an “accident”… or lose track of my kid near a 15 foot drop into a gorilla exhibit . .. talk about “oops”?:)

One thing everyone on Twitter NEEDS to stop doing is threatening or harassing Ms. Gregg and her family. Only idiots do that. You know… like losing your kid in a gorilla exhibit. So, unless you’re an idiot – DON’T. Just add your voice and reasoning the list – and be thorough, educated, honest, and clear. Only then – can you consider yourself part of the solution. We have enough problems in the world … like that poor African Prince that needs my bank account number because his government is going to take all his money. Don’t add to that poor Prince’s suffering. Please … don’t be an idiot (or … threaten anybody – ‘cause if you do … you’s a bitch – Riley (dictated, not read … the management!!).

Rest well, Harambe. May you enjoy the finest of the forests of eternity.

Scientist? I run a few guns. You sons of bitches ruin the world.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people; and monkeys do, too, if they have a gun … funny enough … silver-backs don’t have guns!!!” ((0.o)) – JJ

Update: I wanted to make a correction. Apparently, the woman’s boyfriend and father of the child, Isaiah, Deonne, was present at the zoo. I’ve said plenty additional on the Heavy news site,  but the facts otherwise remain the same 🙂

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