A few years ago, a western lowland gorilla had been killed to protect a small child. The child’s mother had taken her children to the zoo for a family outing. Some thought the gorilla had been trying to protect the child who’d fallen into the enclosure. Those who shot the gorilla did so to protect the child as well. No malice was intended in any of these imperfect acts of human behavior, but unfortunately on that day the circumstances led to tragedy. I was saddened to see so much vitriol in the public’s response towards the child’s mother and towards the zoo staff, as if their actions stemmed from some lack of morality or of character, when it seems as if most everyone was trying, in some way, to do the right thing, even the animal. This piece celebrates the fallible beauty inherent in their efforts and intentions.
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