Blame game in gorilla death serves no purpose

I am baffled by our immediate human reaction, without full knowledge or discernment, to play the “blame game.”

I am baffled by our immediate human reaction, without full knowledge or discernment, to play the “blame game.”

A small boy swiftly gets away from his mother’s physical space while she’s attending to her other children. This very focused four-year-old manages to squeeze under a barrier (which had never before been compromised) and plunges into a gorilla enclosure.

The situation is perilous. No one can predict the outcome, but clearly the child is at risk.

The animal experts determine that a tranquilizer may not disable the gorilla in time, so a decision is made to shoot and kill the beloved primate.

Sad? Absolutely!

A tragedy?

I don’t believe so.

The human being, the precious child, had to be protected at all costs.

Will placing blame on either the mother or the zoo make this accidental event any easier to accept?

The definition of blame is “finding fault, condemning, pointing a finger at.”

Words are powerful and blaming someone blankets them with shame, often causing anger and resentment, leaving a negative result.

In contrast, taking responsibility or accountability for their part in the situation provides a catalyst for change.

I am fairly certain the mother of the young child is regretful of the incident and will most assuredly be more vigilant about watching her children. (How many of us as parents have lost sight of our own children in the blink of an eye?)

The zoo, although defending their measures, have already begun to improve the security fence surrounding the enclosure.

A lesson has been learned. No blame. No judgement necessary. The gorilla, through no fault of his own, lost his life due to a terrible accident. However, a little boy’s life was saved. Let us be grateful for that.

 

Heather Balson

Cowichan Bay