There is the “mother’s fault” group, the “zoo is liable” supporters, the “poor gorilla was shot” gang, and the “had to kill Harambe” bunch. Our society loves to assess blame; things just cannot "happen"... well, if we are going to blame anything or anyone, let’s start with those truly responsible!
Blame the ticket taker/entrance to the zoo, because if they had not sold zoo tickets to that family, their child would not have present to fall through the bushes and land in the gorilla pit. We should blame the vehicle manufacturing industry; if it were not for the family car driven to the zoo, their child would not have been at the exhibit to fall through the bushes to land in a gorilla pit. We need to blame the public transportation system, because if the roads leading from the family home to the zoo did not exist, that child would not have been at the zoo to fall into the gorilla pit. Or we should blame the President, because (according to so many) he has mucked up everything and anything else. So, let’s just keep going: that child fell through the bushes into the gorilla pit because this country is heading for hell on the fast train, so everything else will go with it; to include falling children and gorillas. Lastly, let's blame race, religion, sexual orientation, the police, and ...
An investigator I interviewed for my first book made a profound statement: “people want to make sense out of a senseless crime.” Sometimes there is no one to blame ... life just happens.
Gorillas are quiet animals living in “troops” of around 9. An adult male leads the troop of a few females and their young in peaceful environments, far away from people. Gorillas use eye contact to communicate. They travel nearly a mile, for about 14 hours, feeding and foraging daily. Gorillas, like so many wild animals, are foragers. They eat termites, leaves, ants, fruit, and over 200 different plant species.
So, our society is removing an animal living in a family group to either isolate it or "introduce" others. It is stuck in confinement, which no matter how pretty or big, will never replace this animal's natural habitat. Experts select the food to give it and on a timed schedule. Then a bunch of strange beings invade its personal space to scream, throw things, bang on the cages, and stare at it all day long.
And we become shocked and amazed when the animal acts out.
So, who is to blame?
(photo credits of above Atlanta zoo image: wikimedia.org with permission)