I remember losing my daughter at a park. I remember losing her sister at a restaurant. I remember losing their brother at a mall. “Losing” might be too strong: I lost sight of them briefly, and for a few horrifying moments wondered whether I would see them again. How could I be so stupid?
The answer is that I am human and I accepted the most important job of my life absolutely unprepared. No parent is perfect.
Here’s proof: A mother in Cincinnati allowed her 4-year-old boy to slip her attention and wander into a gorilla exhibit Saturday. After the 400-pound lowland silverback named Harambe dragged the boy roughly through in the exhibit’s moat, Cincinnati Zoo officials shot and killed the animal.
And the world shamed the mother.
“If she watched her child he wouldn’t have been in the gorilla enclosure in the first place,” wrote a commenter on a petition calling for Hamilton County Child Protection Services to investigate the boy’s parents for negligence. Tens of thousands of people signed it.
“That child’s parents should be responsible for the financial loss of that gorilla,” Rob Young wrote on a Facebook post that received 15,000 likes.
One witness, Kim O’Connor, told the NBC affiliate WLWT-TV the mother was tending to several children when the incident took place. She heard the boy saying he wanted to jump into the gorilla compound. “The mother’s like, ‘No, you’re not. No, you’re not,” O’Connor said.