On May 31, 2016 a three year old and his mother visited the Cincinnati Zoo. When mom wasn’t looking, junior slipped into the gorilla enclosure. Lickity split, the gorilla sees the kid and moves toward him. Mom notices her son is no longer at her side. Other people present notice there is a child in the gorilla habitat with the gorilla. Hysterical utterances and hand wringing commence. On everybody’s mind was that they must get the kid out of there or he may be harmed. Gorillas are big and strong and could injure or kill a young human being without even trying. Full Video Shows Harambe the Gorilla Dragging Child Before He Was Shot Since the child couldn’t slip out of the gorilla’s habitat the same way he slipped in, someone would have to go in there and get him. Oh oh. The resident gorilla was there and was agitated. Naturally, the gorilla was agitated. There was a trespasser in his space. Not only that, outside his space, the people who come to stare at him, were shrieking and waving their arms around. Officials shot the gorilla dead, retrieved the errant youngster, and returned him to his mother. Reactions to this news included demands of Justice for Harambe (the gorilla’s name) and claims that the gorilla was shot because he was black. A demand for justice for killing an animal that posed a genuine danger to a child, sounds not so much noble as outright irrational. Moral righteousness is a great theme for a hashtag. The thing is, animals have no rights. Gorillas have no rights. Zoo animals have no rights. Justice in the way we usually think of it, legal justice, doesn’t apply here. The gorilla had to die to save a little boy. We are morally obliged to look after zoo animals’ needs while we keep them captive and on display. Heaving cries for justice for an animal that was shot dead so it wouldn’t kill a human being is overwrought romanticism at best. Such entreaties for justice do little other than make people feel good about themselves for acting like they really really care. Where is the concern over the very real brush with death the child faced? And how about the horrible waiting and watching and fearing a terrible outcome, his mother went through? It may be that the terrible ordeal of the woman and the boy are too close to home, so to speak. It’s just easier to bemoan the poor dead gorilla. Wildly, there is a proposed “Harambe’s Law” to protect endangered zoo animals from being killed when a zoo visitor does something dumb. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/outrage-after-gorilla-harambe-killed-at-cincinnati-zoo-to-save-child/ Some take hashtags, some take action. To wit, the practically minded Cincinnati Zoo has added an additional barrier to further discourage over curious and adventurous patrons from entering the gorilla enclosure. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/06/02/cincinnati-zoo-gorilla-exhibit-reopen/85296442/ It’s sad that the gorilla had to be killed. What we need to accept is that the gorilla had to be killed. The life of a human being is more important than the life of a zoo animal. No matter how much we love animals we must be able to see that. There are those who cry over the violent death of a gorilla. Do they save any tears for the people who died violently that day? There were some bizarre responses to the death of the gorilla. For example, there were accusations that the gorilla was shot because he was black. Black lives matter! Did anybody notice that the little boy plucked out of the gorilla’s den was black? Never mind. To some, black lives matter most if they are covered in fur and classified endangered. Meanwhile in Chicago, as Allen West points out, 6 people were killed and 63 were wounded by gunfire the same weekend as the gorilla was shot. http://cnsnews.com/commentary/allen-west/allen-west-how-does-gorilla-garner-more-attention-shootings-chicago-last Reality check. One gorilla shot dead. Six human beings shot dead. Sixty-three human beings injured. Of course gorilla lives matter. We have to ask ourselves though, why did this gorilla killed in the Cincinnati Zoo cause so much outrage? At what point did we run out of outrage for all those of our own species being killed every day? What happened to the our moral meter when we weep over a 17 year old captive gorilla while ignoring the many many dead people? Black neighborhoods suffer deaths from shootings every weekend. All the silence over the dead people vs all the gasping over a gorilla’s death makes it appear that concern for primates being victimized is of greatest import when the victim primate is of the simian variety. When did the minority group, great apes eclipse the majority group, humans? Is this evolution?