Jack's column: Wading into gorilla warfare

THE news of the shooting death of Harambe the gorilla this week was nothing short of a tragedy.

To have lost an endangered and majestic creature in such avoidable circumstances would leave even the most cold-blooded people shaking their heads.

But are we blaming the right people?

Sure, blame may be a bit of a dirty word when it comes to unfortunate fatalities, but if we're going to do it, we may as well do it right.

Animal activists have had a field day (well, field week) calling out the zookeeper responsible for pulling the trigger.

The trouble is, when it comes to moral high ground, it's much easier to say someone was wrong without offering an actual solution.

There is only one way to look at this: Harambe had to be shot.

Now, that's terrible.

I'm not saying for a moment that we should all just hide the carcass and get on with our lives.

If anything, the fact that there has been a public debate at all over this is a win for true advocates of animal rights.

But come on, guys, let's end it there.

But no.

"The zookeeper should lose his job," said one.

"The parents should have been shot," cried another.

And my personal favourite: "The gorilla was passing the child back!"

Oh great.

One of you clearly had a quick chat to Harambe to get his version of the story.

A playful puppy could cause significant damage to a budgerigar with this sole thought running through his mind all along: "Isn't this just so much fun for both of us?"

And that's just a puppy.

Sorry, but have you seen what gorillas look like?

They're like a drugged up version of some sort of messed up love-child between Arnold Schwarzenegger, Muhammad Ali and basically every Roald Dahl villain you've ever read

about … in a gorilla suit.

In hindsight, our chosen line of evolution is beginning to make a lot less sense.

My point is, that creature would not even need to have intent to cause harm to a small child in order to cause harm to said child.

Put simply: the boy's life was in danger.

I love animals.

In fact, I would go about as far as to say that most animals are generally better than most humans.

And even for those humans who do manage to scrape through for a win, it's only really on the back of good looks, a decent apple pie recipe or the fact that they are simply relatives of mine and I have no choice.

Oh yeah: and the opposable thumb thing.

That said, I simply cannot stand by and listen to animal activists blasting the quick-thinking actions of zookeepers left with no choice but to place the child's life on a higher pedestal.

Animal rights are rightly among the most important of moral and ethical issues in modern society.

But humans have rights too. Sure, the child and his parents need to learn from all this. That doesn't mean the death penalty is the right way to teach them.

I agree that a stray dog's attack of an elderly woman is more at the hands of the dog's owner.

I agree that the deaths of four guppies are more at the hands of the owner who put the new piranha in the same tank.

And I agree that Harambe's tragic fate is more at the hands of the neglectful parents.

But a human life was at stake, a child's life was at stake.

Just imagine the uproar if that was the one we lost.