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5 Things You Need to Know About the Gorilla Shooting at the Cincinnati Zoo

1. The Tragedy

On Saturday, May 28, a four-year-old boy climbed a railing, squeezed through a fence and fell into the moat within the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. (Video below.)

2. Imminent Danger

Once the boy was inside the enclosure, a 450-pound gorilla named Harambe grabbed him and, at times, violently dragged him around in the water while the mother yelled to him and bystanders stood in horror of the situation.

3. The Decision

Zoo officials responded quickly and took the gorilla down with a rifle shot. Zoo director Thane Maynard said, “We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child’s life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made.” Tranquilizers were not an option in this decision due to the time it takes for the drugs to take effect in a large animal like Harambe.

4. Cue Internet Outrage

The people of the Internet responded in anger—blaming the child’s mother for negligence, the zoo for choosing to kill instead of tranquilizing and, in disgust, some picketed the zoo to make a statement.

5. Bottom Line

Human beings are made in the image of God, above the animals, and are to be valued in such a way. We are to care for and about all life, and it’s a sad thing to take down a beautiful animal, but human life will always hold a higher distinction. These parents are able to hold their son in their arms today because of the quick action of zoo officials.

As for the Internet’s outrage? Sadly, this is just another example of society’s lack of regard for the sanctity of life. It’s also a bold reminder that we need to fight for the value of human life—in all ways possible. The significance of this event isn’t just about the life of a boy over the life of a gorilla—it’s about all human life being held in high regard and protected for its intrinsic value to our Creator.

As Matt Walsh wrote on The Blaze, “While the media obsesses over an ape and thousands of people cry that they will ”miss” a zoo animal they didn’t even know existed on Friday, there will be another 125,000 abortions. On a daily basis, a group of people larger than the population of Provo, Utah, are systematically exterminated. None of them are given a name, and there will be no candlelight vigils for any of these victims.”

*Side note: Many people are criticizing the mom for negligence, but if you have small children, I think you know it only takes a second for something like this to happen. Please join us in prayer for the family and for zoo officials.

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Brian is a writer and editor from Ohio. He works with creative and innovative people to discover the top stories, resources and trends to equip and inspire the Church.