It's likely you haven't missed the story all over social media this week, or at least, a lot of opinions about the mother whose four-year-old son tragically fell into the gorilla enclosure at an American zoo.
Following the boy being dragged around by the 400-pound animal for 10 minutes the zoo made a decision to shoot the gorilla with the belief the boy was in imminent danger. Nobody is happy. Criticism has of course been placed towards the zoo for their decision to kill the animal, as well as having a gorilla enclosure that a four year old could breach. But mainly a barrage of blame and abuse and even death threats has been directed towards the boy's mother.
A Facebook group called 'Justice for Harambe' was created and Change.Org petition has gathered over 400,000 signatures. It reads:
We the undersigned feel the child's safety is paramount in this situation. We believe that this negligence may be reflective of the child's home situation. We the undersigned actively encourage an investigation of the child's home environment in the interests of protecting the child and his siblings from further incidents of parental negligence that may result in serious bodily harm or even death. Please sign this petition to encourage the Cincinnati Zoo, Hamilton County Child Protection Services, and Cincinnati Police Department hold the parents responsible.
Something bad happened, and as parents we are supposed to prevent bad things from happening. This therefore must be the parent's fault.
'Give me a child to look after, and I can guarantee they wouldn't end up in a gorilla enclosure' squeals the self-righteous.
Well, it doesn't make you any more than a smart arse for figuring that statistically there is a slim chance of that happening (since it has only happened once) but unfortunately children don't always play by rules, they are quick, sometimes they don't listen. It could take a millisecond for a child to slip away.
Looking after one child can be really hard let alone several, like Michelle reportedly was.
Maybe you will lose them in a supermarket or in a large crowd sometime, maybe even at an airport. That will be ok though, right? As long as it is not at the zoo, because then they fall in with the gorillas. Like Michelle Gregg should have apparently foreseen.
It's not that I'm not incredibly saddened that an innocent animal lost his life, just the same as everybody else. I saw the videos, just like everybody else. It is an awfully upsetting situation.
But if you are angry, question how the hell a four year old was able to make his way into a gorilla enclosure so easily? Incite change. Petition for safer animal enclosures, or maybe even for animals to not be in captivity at all.
Michelle Gregg is human, just like the rest of us. And while all of the angry week-long gorilla activists will forget, and move on to the next sensationalized media piece, she will not. As a parent you have a lifelong fear of your children getting harmed, or worse. But sometimes, bad stuff happens to even the best of us. I cannot possibly comprehend the terror she must have felt, watching that situation pan out, as all she could do was stand helplessly.
But I'm pretty sure that is enough to haunt her, without your public humiliation and shaming.