A Silverback Gorilla's Death Always Hinges On 'Expert' Decisions

When Harambe the silverback gorilla was shot and killed by an animal response team at the Cincinnati Zoo over the weekend, it appeared to be just another thing for people on social media to be outraged about.

The response – while touching – actually means very little to the incident, and it reveals the double standard people have for all animals, as well as for just life in general.

The report by CBS News is an example of straightforward reporting from people who have no choice but to accept what happened, but in order for them not to rock the boat too much, they've decided to also say that killing the silverback was the right choice.

This is certainly in league with what one "expert" said at the time of the incident that human life should take priority over animal life, every time.

But one has to wonder about the "experts" who are saying this.

The "dangerous" animal response team are a small group of people who are given the authority to act in only one way, should they ever need to get involved as they did with this situation.

Aren't these the same people, however, who have the same ideological mindset as game hunters or the members of safari clubs?

Because the entire purpose for why animals such as silverback gorillas are in these zoos is to protect them from being poached, in order to give an endangered species a chance to survive, while we're able to see them and learn about them from a safe distance.

Harambe the Gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo in 2015?
This is a Silverback Gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo taken in 2015. Unknown if this is Harambe. [Image by Dawn via Flickr / CC BY 2.0]

And their endangerment isn't due to natural selection, unless you believe that poaching or hunting is what that is.

They're endangered because they've been killed where they live in overwhelming numbers, and yet they end up meeting their demise in very much the same way in a Western society where they're supposed to be protected.

It's almost as if silverback gorillas and all other endangered animals are only meant to be shot and killed because in the mind of a person who has a chance to pull that trigger without any repercussions, they can easily convince themselves that that is just the way it is and perhaps that is always as it should be.

Only the experts know if Harambe should have lived or died
Thane Maynard, director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, speaks during a news conference, Monday, May 30, 2016, in Cincinnati. A gorilla named Harambe was killed by a special zoo response team on Saturday after a 4-year-old boy slipped into an exhibit and it was concluded his life was in danger. [Image by John Minchillo / AP Photo]

The similarities in seeing these creatures in a zoo and breaking down the incident in social media is that we have some distance to pull apart the details from a distance

People online have attacked the parents, suggesting that they be punished or even preferring that they be killed rather than the silverback gorilla.

Can you believe there are some who have even turned this into an abortion issue?

There's even the theories of racism, but in either case, we have no choice but to submit to those "experts" as they have spent the most time with Harambe in order to rationalize their final decision to shoot and kill him.And really, it comes down to a simple fact which is that as a society, we are not at all involved in general with these creatures at all.

We do have a choice and make decisions on which animals we can have around us, and if one wants to see a silverback gorilla or any other rare animal, we pay the price of admission.

But we can spend our entire lives without having to see any of these animals in person, and those zoo keepers, scientists, and game hunters are in a bubble that we are hardly ever in.

And there's a good chance that those people in that bubble know that, and treat the rest of us as outsiders who have no say on their decisions whatsoever.

So in that sense, our outrage is consistently made from a distance, and like taking a day off to go see such a rare creature like a silverback gorilla, we'll always be on this side of the glass and never be involved.

[Image by Lord Mountbatten via Wikimedia / Public Domain]