Who Was the Villain?

June 9, 2016

We are raised from childhood hearing stories. As a result, there is a natural inclination to cast the characters in every story in one of several roles—the villain, the victim, the hero. And we often ask, what’s the moral of the story? 

How would you cast the players in the Cincinnati Zoo episode? Who was the villain? Harambe, the 440-pound gorilla? The zoo? The mother of the 3-year-old child who was in the grasp of the gorilla? The shooter who killed Harambe?

I believe the Cincinnati Zoo representatives did a good job of explaining why they had to take the actions they did. Human life is paramount. 

Crises sometime bring social change. What are the byproducts of this crisis? Enhanced safety measures in zoos? Will gorillas be phased out of zoos? Are we moving toward eliminating large animals in captivity? Science reporter Natalie Angier explores this topic in The New York Times in an article entitled, “Do Gorillas Even Belong in Zoos? Harambe’s Death Spurs Debate.”

Sometimes a communications crisis is the herald of social change.

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Crisis sparks the question: Should large primates be held in captivity?

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