Gorilla Experts Unite

So now we’re all gorilla experts.


Gorilla Smiling… (or is he…?)

It reminds me of a story. Years ago I took a class from a guy who’s hobby was tigers. No… real tigers. He had found a couple guys who were taking care of a pair of tigers that were part of a US Government program to breed more “docile” tigers. The program was over and the tigers were due to be euthanized unless they could find a home. This guy who told me this story evidently was made of money (I have no idea where it came from). So he offered to pay for the upkeep of the tigers for the rest of his life and pay these guys’ salaries… if… these guys would teach him all about tigers.

It took years for him to get to the point where he could get near the tigers, but one day, he was allowed in the cage with them finally. But… he knew the danger. These tigers would never be tame-able, domesticate-able or friendly. They learned to act friendly, but if anybody in that cage (very large open pen actually) ever turned their back to the tigers, it was over. In seconds. And these were docile tigers.

So one day right after the Siegfried and Roy incident, somebody reported on the news that the tiger that hurt Roy was actually trying to protect him because he loved him. “NONSENSE!” Not one to call and complain about news stories, my friend this time couldn’t stand still. He called the HQ of the news channel and somehow got through to somebody in charge to explain that they don’t understand tigers and to stop making stuff up. The news channel issued a retraction almost immediately.

All that to say…

You and I don’t know about gorillas. Stop saying he was protecting the child.

The parents weren’t bad parents. It was a crazy day and it could have happened to you. And it might have. And I hope it never happens again.

The guy who pulled the trigger made the right call. a 400 pound male gorilla is an immediate and dangerous threat to the child between his legs at that moment, and there was no other alternative. With his training and knowledge of the situation, under that much stress, most of us would have done exactly the same thing, and I fear the rest of us would have watched that boy die.

I’m thankful that he pulled the trigger. That boy is alive because of it.

We can all stop second-guessing now. The internet has made us all experts? Let’s just agree that no, it hasn’t…


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