This post is part of KQED’s Do Now U project. Do Now U is a biweekly activity for students and the public to engage and respond to current issues using social media. Do Now U aims to build civic engagement and digital literacy for learners of all ages. This post was written by Ashley Baysinger, Thor Smith and Jasmine Parker, students in Jim Speer’s “Introduction to Environmental Science” class at Indiana State University.


Featured Media Resource
VIDEO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Endangered Species Act: 40 Years at the Forefront of Wildlife Conservation
Learn about the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and various species it has protected.


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Is it morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk? #DoNowULife


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On May 28, 2016, a toddler fell into the exhibit of a Western Lowland gorilla named Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo. The gorilla grabbed the child and dragged him. A zoo employee shot the gorilla because he believed that Harambe would have injured or killed the child. This sparked a heated debate over whether killing this gorilla was the ethical thing to do. The Western Lowland gorilla is considered critically endangered due to a variety of factors, including deforestation and infertility. Harambe’s death is not the first time that we have had to question the morality of killing an endangered animal in order to protect a human. Wolves, African painted dogs, Siberian tigers, and polar bears are among some of the endangered animals that have been killed since 1987 in self-defense situations in zoos or in the wild. Whose life has a higher value, the overpopulated human or the animal at risk of extinction?

Upon signing the Endangered Species Act, Richard Nixon stated, “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed. It is a many-faceted treasure, of value to scholars, scientists, and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part of the heritage we all share as Americans.” The Endangered Species Act protects endangered species and their ecosystems through federal law. A species is considered endangered when is it dangerously close to extinction. The Western Lowland Gorilla, which is considered critically endangered, has a population of about 100,000 individuals. The population has dropped by 60 percent in the past 20-25 years. Despite the dwindling population of the gorillas, they are still considered dangerous animals to humans. Where do we draw the line when it comes to a life or death situation for an endangered animal versus a human?

Gray wolf
Gray wolf (Gary Kramer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

On the other side, some people are saying that the Endangered Species Act may put humans at a greater risk. Renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall made a statement on the events that took place at the Cincinnati Zoo, saying, “…it takes time for a tranquilizing dart to take effect. It was awful for the child, the parents, Harambe, the zoo, the keepers and the public. But when people come into contact with wild animals, life and death decisions sometimes have to be made.” Many people believe that a human’s life is more valuable than the life of an animal, regardless of whether it is close to extinction or not. And, some argue that the Endangered Species Act should be monitored at the state level. In one instance in particular in 2010, two hunters from Montana were suddenly surrounded by a pack of wolves. The hunters were caught in a life-or-death situation, in which they killed the wolves in self-defense. This  happened just after a federal judge ruled to relist the gray wolf as endangered after the Bush administration had removed it from the Endangered Species Act. (Note: This population of wolves is currently delisted.) Utah Congressman Rob Bishop stated, “In most instances, state and local officials are better situated and more capable of managing and preserving wildlife than the federal government.”

What do you think? Should we always side with the protection of a human life or should we value these organisms that we are driving to extinction at a higher level than an individual human life?


More Resources

Video: BBC
Harambe Gorilla Killing: Zoo Defends Shooting
Hear from the director of the Cincinnati Zoo about their decision to shoot Harambe, the gorilla.

Article: International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Jane Goodall, Azzedine Downes Together Offer Thoughts on Tragic Harambe Killing
Read an interview with Dr. Jane Goodall and Azzedine Downes, President and CEO of IFAW, about their opinions on the killing of Harambe the gorilla.

Article: The Conversation
How Do We Weigh the Moral Value of Human Lives Against Animal Ones?
This article explores human compassion, what we are willing to sacrifice, and the moral rights of humans, other animals and the environment.

Article: Gun Owners of America
Self-Defense Versus the Endangered Species Act
The Director of Federal Affairs for Gun Owners of America, a grassroots lobbying organization, discusses a situation in which gray wolves, which were federally listed as endangered, were killed by hunters in self-defense.


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  • somsai

    First one needs to understand what is an endangered species. Biologically grizzly bears for instance are not endangered. The grizzly gets the very lowest rating from the internationally accepted IUCN. Here in the US we rate species by how much we like them. In general any large carnivore is a species we like. We see them on TV and in movies and we relate to their persona that we are presented with on the screen, usually as a fellow human.
    The gray wolf is another great example, with a circumpolar distribution and one of the most widespread populations of any species on earth, second only to humans, the idea that it is in any way close to extinction is ludicrous. If the IUCN is too technical a resource simply google wiki. Before we can ever begin to save species from extinction it is necessary to first see them from a reality based perspective, not the hyper emotive perspective presented via the net.

    The other concept one needs to understand is individuals of a species versus the entire population of the species. Harambe is a middle school meme. Kids make jokes about him and the whole issue of the gorilla being shot. Some gorrilla in a zoo is not relevant to the survival of the species. An individual gorilla in the wild is much more important. Currently all species of gorilla’s are listed by the IUCN as endangered. Unlike wolves they really are endangered and they might well go extinct. People eat gorillas, people also cut trees to farm on gorilla habitat. Unless wealthy western societies can find a way to employ people in Africa to such an extent that they don’t need to purchase gorilla meat or farm on former forests the gorilla will go extinct.

    Which is more important? African lives yes, students at Indiana University less so. If students with all of their education, can’t empathise or even begin to understand the lives of subsistence farmers in Africa, well what good are they? Worth more than an internet meme called Harambe? Hard call to make.

  • Luke Wise

    It is obviously tragic when a species reaches endangered levels, however given the circumstances such as the ones earlier this summer at the Cincinnati Zoo when the life of a small child when endangered after falling into a gorilla exhibit. Although Harambe’s death will not be forgotten, the death of a toddler would be far more tragic and it would result in the mother facing jail time. It’s terrible when an endangered animal is killed before its time but I believe that human lives come first. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowULife

    • darlingsapphire

      HERE AGAIN IS ANOTHER CONFUSED STATEMENT. IT’S TIME FOR HUMANS TO REALIZE THAT HUMANS ARE THE
      SPECIES THAT CAUSE ALL THE PROBLEMS AND THERE ARE 7.5 BILLION OF US. I WOULD NOT HESITATE TO KILL
      THE STUPID CINCINNATI ZOO’S CEO. THE SILVERBACK GORILLA DID NOT WARRANT A DEATH PENALTY, BUT THE
      CINCINNATI ZOO CEO DOES. THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN NO KILLING AT ALL, BUT THE CINCINNATI ZOO IS TOO
      STUPID, FAR TOO STUPID…..ALL THEY THINK OF IS FORCED BREEDING THE ANIMALS SO THEY CAN FEEL
      DISGUSTINGLY AND STUPIDLY PROUD TO SAY THEY ARE THE SEXIEST ZOO AROUND……. MURDERERS AND IDIOTS.

    • jacob

      pretty sure they wouldn’t have sent the mom to any real jail time.. maybe made her jump through some hoops to satisfy the court, but nothing she couldn’t get over. Yeah its sad to see an innocent child have been put in danger, but we dont know what would have happened had they tranquilized the gorilla.

  • Brandon Ball

    The killing of an endangered species is no doubt one of the hardest choices to make, however when it comes down to whether the animal or a human gets killed, I believe the endangered species must be put down. Though animals are very important, I don’t think any animal is worth the life of a human being. #ENVI110 #DoNowULife

  • Hannah

    The life of endangered species is something to take seriously. They are beautiful creatures as well as are important to this earth. Although their are many situations concerning humans vs. animals. It is to me the most important to save a human life over a animal. Sometimes you really have to put yourself in a certain situation, and ask yourself…”What would I do?” #EnviSci110

    • Alisha

      That’s interesting to ask, “what would I do” because it’s hard when someone says they’ll do one thing, but aren’t really thinking about the situation themselves. It’s hard to make a decision without considering what one would do in that situation themselves. #MyCMSTArgs

      • Hannah

        Backing up to my statement in my first comment… “to me human lives are more important than an animals.” Therefore in a situation I’d want to say “I will do all it takes to protect the human life.” Now I think I’ve made my comment more clear. Anyone else can do the same, as to which they see fit.

  • Hunter W.

    So many Species become endangered due to the actions of us humans. We are the cause of them dying off through pollution, deforestation, and killing/hunting of these animals. Then When someones life is put into danger by our own carelessness we continue to kill these endangered animals. there has to be a drawn line on this. In many ways i agree that a humans life is more important, but not when we risk the extinction of an entire species, especially when the danger was brought on by ourselves. I believe that in the situation of the Cincinnati Zoo, and many other situations, a Tranquilizer should have been used at the risk of the child. we cannot value ourselves so greatly over the wildlife and expect a bright future. #DoNowULife #ENVI110

    • Alisha

      I agree with what you said about how we are the ones that brought that danger upon ourselves. Why are we letting animals die for our mistakes? The child shouldn’t have even ending up in the gorilla’s area in the first place. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Loren Drake

    If the human being is caught in a life or death situation meaning the species that you are in a situation with is trying to kill. Or in the gorillas case, too strong for the little boy to withstand what was supposed to be natural protection of the gorillas babies. This gives me reason to suggest that killing the animal would be okay endangered or not because if it were me up against a pack of wolves I would do my best to stay alive, even if I had to kill the animals.

    • darlingsapphire

      THE VICTIM WAS A GENTLE SILVERBACK GORILLA, MEANING NO HARM TO THE CHILD WHO DID WRONG.YES THIS IS
      WHAT MOST EVIL HUMANS DO KILL, KILL, KILL INSTEAD OF HAVING UNDERSTANDING, KNOWLEDGE, EMPATHY AND
      COMPASSION, LIKE ANIMALS HAVE.

  • Kareem Mchardy

    Human lives do come first but sometimes it don’t be the animals fault. For example the situation that happened earlier in the summer where the gorilla was killed because a baby fell in his pit. That had nothing to do with the animal being vicious. And then he was only trying to protect the baby. I don’t think animals should be killed in situations like that. #ENVI110

    • darlingsapphire

      IF YOU DON’T THINK ANIMALS SHOULD BE KILLED IN SITUATIONS LIKE IN CINCINNATI ZOO, THEN WHAT DO YOU
      THINK….VERY NEGATIVE REPLY.

      • marjon blount

        I strongly agree with you. Why should we put our lives higher than an animals life ? especially a animals life that has been forcibly captured and put in a zoo for our own personal entertainment. DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • Yashar C.

      The appliance of tranquilizers would have definitely been a possibility, or if anything more beneficial compared to the death of a creature its own “habitat”. I respect your comment, my guy. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • Robert Duron

      No one could of been able to predict what would have happned you’re right. However, what should they of done then, if they waited to see an outcome, what if it was too late? Then they had the oppurtunity to protect the child and didn’t which could lead to both the death of the child and Harambe. I think what they did was right for the rare situation it was as we should protect the childs life at all costs. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • Karla

      I agree in some circumstances gorillas have shown protection of the child. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Josh Mackey

    This was honestly a tragic story to hear about when it happened. I believe we should stick to what has already been enforced but at the same time I believe we can change the rules to prevent something like this from happening again, but at the end of the day the human life is what will be saved first. #ENVI110

    • darlingsapphire

      YOU STATEMENT AS WELL MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL. MOST HUMANS ARE DESTROYERS OF THE PLANET AND
      KILLERS OF BEAUTIFUL WONDERFUL ANIMALS.

  • Carlos Ocasio

    On the situation of a endangered species or a humans life, I am going to have to side with the life of a human but a human life should never be in that predicament that has to result in the death of an animal. I know time was limited to save the boy and actions had to be taken immediately but if an animal is on the brink of being extinct they should not be captive in a zoo. #ENVI110 #DoNowULife

    • darlingsapphire

      YOUR STATEMENT MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL.

  • jacob

    What a tricky question. In a situation where someone is in the wild, and is being attacked by a wild animal, i feel that a person should absolutely have the right to defend themselves. Whether is be a wolf pack coming down on you, or a gorilla tearing down your tent in the middle of the night. However, in the situation of the zoo incident, I feel like the gorilla got a bad deal. If a human purposely puts themselves in harms way, of an endangered species, who is being pinned up by us supposedly for protection… Well, humans arent endangered, and we need to think of the bigger picture.

    #donowulife

    #donowuenv110

    • darlingsapphire

      GORILLAS WOULD NEVER TEAR DOWN ONE’S TENT, THEY MIGHT CURIOUSLY PEEK IN THAT’S ALL, AND ATTACKED
      BY A WILD ANIMAL CAN HAPPEN WHEN THEIR TERRITORY HAS BEEN INVADED BY HUMAN/S, HUMANS HAVE KILLED
      OFF THEIR FOOD SOURCE, OR THREATENED, OTHERWISE ANIMALS MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS.

    • Kim Cuong Nguyen

      I agree. It depends on the situation whether or not to defend against an endangered animal or not. In the case of Harambe, I agree that Harambe got the short end of the stick because the majestic Silverback Gorilla wasn’t actually endangering the life of the four-year-old boy. There was a video that captured how Harambe was helping the boy up and not viciously attacking him. I think the zoo acted too hastily, thus they were reckless. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • Carolyn Gurstein

      I agree with this I think it depends on the situation. I think this was a really good perspective on the whole situation. Humans shouldn’t be in zoo captivities in the first place so this animal did not deserve to die. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • hayleyhibbens

      I’m on the same page as you, this really is a difficult situation. I don’t know how I would’ve reacted if I had witnessed this happening.

    • Kenny Clark

      I completely agree. The dangerous situation that the child was found in was mainly because the parent was not supervising correctly. It can’t be that easy to fall into a gorilla exhibit. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • Tanya Arevalo

      I totally agree with you if you put yourself in harm because you where trying to funny or trying to get attention then you should suffer the consequences. However it’s hard to really say what you would so if it was your own kid or the gorillas life. I think there is a better method of dealing with this situation without having to kill and losing a life. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • bgirl272

      Self defense is of course important and if you are in the wild and it’s your life or theirs of course choose the human. However in a zoo environment they should always use tranquilizar guns.

  • Cj Irby

    I think it’s a sad situation for both the innocent animal but certainly the human. We should kill the animal because i honestly believe you cannot compare a humans life with a animal .#DoNowULife #Eniv110

    • darlingsapphire

      YOUR STATEMENT MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL. IF YOU CALCULATE ALL THE CRIMES THAT HUMANS HAVE DONE
      COMPARED TO….WELL YOU CAN’T COMPARE BECAUSE ANIMALS HAVE NO CRIMES; THEREFORE ANIMALS ARE
      SO MUCH BETTER THAN MOST HUMANS. ANIMALS DO NOT KILL PEOPLE, BUT PEOPLE KILL ANIMALS.

  • Darrick Webster

    Darrick Webster
    I don’t believe the Gorilla should have been killed. There have been past stories where this has happened and the gorilla actually protected the child. We should have waited and seen what was going to happen of course a child’s life is priceless, but so is an endangered animals. The child was not hurt what so ever by Harambe, all he did was go over and grab the child. We have to remember that regardless of being brought up in a zoo, they are still wild animals and have rights too.
    ENVI110

    • Rigoberto Lomas-Velazco

      Even if the child wasn’t hurt by the gorilla you cant be sure the situation would have stayed that way for long. As soon as the gorilla felt threatened it might become frightened and unwittingly harm the child. But that’s just a what if situation. What happened, happened and there’s no way to change that. I do agree with you however, that it was the fault of the parents for not keeping a closer eye on the child. You are at a zoo and the animals are in cages, but that obviously doesn’t mean you can let your guard down.

      • Maddie Barraza

        I agree with you Rigoberto; the situation with Harambe was tragic. We didn’t know what could be done because we were too afraid of the consequences. What if thy shot him with a tranquilizer and he freaked out and hurt, or even killed the little kid. It wasn’t Harambe’s fault at all, and it is an absolute shame he had to die, but in my opinion, at the end of the day humans need to have other humans come first. It’s really sad to say but that’s what I think. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowULife

    • Lauryn L.

      I agree that not only a humans life is priceless because an endangered animals is too. Humans believe that animals’ lives are less valuable than ours however, if we can avoid killing both species then we should.
      #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowULife

    • Yashar C.

      Agreed. I was so hurt when I watched Harambe die for no reason. They could have made more effort in securing both the lives of the gorilla and the child. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

      • Sammy Johnson, Jr.

        I agree there should have more thought about how to save both lives before they started killing. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Kenny Clark

      I agree. Instead of using deadly force, a nonlethal tranquilizer should’ve been used. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • Tanya Arevalo

      I agree with your opinion maybe we should have waited and tried to remove the kid before killing the gorilla. It’s unfortunate that the gorilla had to die after trying to save the kid.
      #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

      • Sammy Johnson, Jr.

        I absolutely agree it says nothing about Harambe showing any harmful intent towards the child. #MyCMSTArgs

      • Jodi DeMassa

        It is sad that the gorilla had to die when it was trying to save the kid. Maybe if they just designed a better way for the animals not to touch the kids would’ve been better. #MyCMSTArgs

    • bgirl272

      I agree. We are the reason the animal was there in the first place. They will always act on instinct and it was our fault that something like this was even able to happen.

    • Nishi Patel

      I agree, the life of the animal is just as important as the life of the child’s. Killing the gorilla was a drastic measure that was not necessary in the situation, at least in that exact moment.

    • Dustin Turner

      exactly my point thank you

    • Jodi DeMassa

      I don’t agree that we should wait and see, but I do agree that they have rights too. We’re naturally going to want to jump in and try to save our baby, but I don’t agree with going and trying to kill it. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Spencer O’Brien

    The human race as a whole is very arrogant and we believe that we rule the earth. We need to start more readily realizing what impacts we have on the rest of the earth with every action we have. This is an example of this arrogance, how we kill endangered species as soon as they even become a threat to us even if they haven’t even harmed us.

  • Alisha

    To be honest, I’m against keeping wildlife locked up in zoos in the first place (http://www.vice.com/read/why-we-should-close-all-zoos-778). This wouldn’t have happened if the Cincinnati Zoo wasn’t holding Harambe in their facility or they worked on improving protection of Harambe so the toddler had no way of possibly getting in. I understand the pros to having zoos, especially when it comes to protecting the animals and giving them a better life than they could have in the wild, but even if they’re being protected, how is a life in a zoo in which humans can get in contact with them or stare and poke at them all day? Endangered animal lives are to be protected and not looked at as inferior than us. #MyCMSTArgs

  • JeffCMST

    In my opinion I feel like it’s okay if we kill an endangered animal if a humans life is at risk, and I’m not saying that killing an animal isn’t bad I’m just saying I would rather take a animals life away rather than a human beings just because I feel like a humans life is a little more valuable than a animals life. That’s just me. #DoNowULife#MyCMSTArgs

    • Rigoberto Lomas-Velazco

      That animal is endangered and we humans aren’t, If anything there is an overabundance of humans on Earth. If someone was unlucky or dumb enough to get themselves in a situation where it was them vs an animal, that’s their fault. if you saw a lion attacking a gazelle would you kill the lion to save the gazelle? It’s just one animal killing another because it was environmentally inclined to. So in that way I guess your statement could be our environmental reason as to why we kill the “weaker animal.” But like I stated earlier its all just survival of the fittest and there may be situations in which we aren’t the ones who are necessarily the “most fit.”

    • Robert Duron

      I agree with 100%, these cases were both rare and involved human lives being at extreme risk. I do not advocate for killing animlas just the human life is more important than the animals especially in these situations. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • Rigoberto Lomas-Velazco

    When it comes to humans vs animals I have very mixed feelings about it. We as humans don’t have a natural predator that we have to constantly worry about. So there is nothing that will limit our population growth, unless we do it ourselves. However, we are a very selfish species and the idea that we would ever do that willingly is completely out of the question. We are using up our planets resources at an alarming rate because, for now, they are abundant. We don’t care about preservation of our environment because we just want to make a profit. Since animals are part of that environment they regretfully have to suffer the consequences of our greed.
    Although I do feel much regret for the animals that are going extinct, I sometimes see it as a survival of the fittest type situation. We humans are the ones who at this time control the planet, and these animals that are going extinct are just not adaptable enough to survive. So while it is a problem and many of these animals are vital for human survival, it is just a testament to how far we as a species have come. Eventually we will suffer the same fate, humans can’t keep prospering the way they are now forever. It will be at that point that we discover if we are adaptable enough to persevere, or if we will go extinct ourselves.

    • Lauryn L.

      I agree about how we don’t have natural predators except for ourselves. It emphasizes what you say in the next sentence, “we are very selfish.” We kill the planet continuously because of our constant need for gratification by consumer products. Animals are the only things left on Earth that actually respect and utilize its resources. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowULife

  • Lauryn L.

    I don’t believe that killing an animal who is already in containment, or even in the wild, is justifiable in any way. There are other ways that could have gone about the gorilla situation such as tranquilization, or just good parenting. Although the child was in a dangerous situation, the gorilla did nothing to harm it and distractions could have been made. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowULife

    • Kim Cuong Nguyen

      I agree that Harambe shouldn’t have been killed. I don’t think tranquilizers would’ve been very helpful in that situation because it takes approximately ten minutes for it to kick in, and the initial sting from the tranquilizers could’ve enraged the gorilla, but I do agree that there could’ve been other methods in dealing with this situation. I think your point about making a distraction is great. All in all, I think humans have the right to defend themselves against endangered animals if they are actually in danger, however, in the case of Harambe the child wasn’t actually in danger. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • Carolyn Gurstein

      I agree that other precautions could have been made to save the animal. I don’t understand why a tranquilizer couldn’t have been used instead of a gun. I think this is a really good point. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • Kim Cuong Nguyen

    I think if a human is put in a situation where they are actually in peril against an endangered animal such as a great white shark then they have the right to defend themselves. The situation regarding Harambe is different. Harambe’s death was unjust because the majestic gorilla wasn’t endangering the life of the child. Additionally, Harambe was in confinement so there are a lot of different actions that could’ve been taken that could secure the life of the child and the gorilla. According to this CNN article ( http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/30/us/gorilla-shot-harambe/ ) there were other incidents similar to the Cincinnati Zoo where the gorilla saved the life of a girl and was not killed. Actions were taken too quickly and recklessly in Harambe’s case, for the Silverback Gorilla wasn’t attacking the four-year-old boy. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowULife

  • Ariana Robles

    Ariana Robles
    In the case of Harmbe I do not believe that he should have been killed. He did not seem to have any ill will against the little boy that fell in his enclosure. If anything I think everything should be done to save the life of the endangered animal. And killing the animal should be the last resort. I do think though if the animal looks as if he is out for blood then by all means try to save the person. But Harmbe was not doing anything to the boy if anything it seemed that he was shielding the boy away from all of the screaming people. So if he was shot with a tranquilizer both the boy and the gorilla would still be alive today.

  • Yashar C.

    Define risk, because people’s definition of the term may vary. Honestly, i believe that it is justifiable to end the life of an endangered creature if it is about to harm someone. However, the killing of Harambe would not be an example for such a statement. http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/harambe-the-gorilla Though killing should only be the last resort in self defense (in this case), some people use the excuse, “it could hurt someone” or “its dangerous” to perform unnecessary force upon animals like scenarios previously stated. Therefore, if an alternative (tranquilizers) are a possibility, then use them instead. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • Yashar C.

    Define risk, because people’s definition of the term may vary. Honestly,
    i believe that it is justifiable to end the life of an endangered
    creature if it is about to harm someone. However, the killing of Harambe
    would not be an example for such a statement. http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/
    Though killing should only be the last resort in self defense (in this
    case), some people use the excuse, “it could hurt someone” or “its
    dangerous” to perform unnecessary force upon animals like scenarios
    previously stated. Therefore, if an alternative (tranquilizers) are a
    possibility, then use them instead. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • Robert Duron

    I think a humans life is more important than an animals, even if the animal is on the endangered species list. In both cases, Harambe and the pack of wolves, the humans lives should have been the primary concern. I am not arguing for the animals deaths, just rather in these rare instances were a human life is at extreme risk, they are in the right killing them. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • Shelby

      I agree that both of these instances played out how they should have. A human’s life should never be undermined by an animals, endangered or not. It just seems as though these situations are happened too often then they should, and more protective means need to be taken in order to prevent future situations that are similar. #DoNowULife MyCMSTArgs

    • Maddie Barraza

      I agree with you. As tragic as it is to lose any animal, especially an endangered one, we must put other humans first. Protect out species. In those rare instances like the wolves, and Harambe, we need to trust groups like the National Wildlife Preserve to help bring back what we lost, by saving more endangered animals.

    • Keaton Hill

      I tend to agree with you on this. Although I value animals’ lives, I don’t really think protecting an endangered species should be a priority over a human’s life. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • Maddie Barraza

    This is such a hard question to answer. There are so many quality points on both sides. On one hand you have the animals. endangered ones more importantly. We must do everything we can to keep these animals safe, and try to repopulate them the best to our ability. “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed. It is a many-faceted treasure, of value to scholars, scientists, and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part of the heritage we all share as Americans.” I 100% with Richard Nixon is this quote. American wildlife is so sacred, and beautiful, that we must do everything we can to preserve it, and protect it. However, and I really do hate to say this, because I believe all life is sacred, but if one is faced with the decision between a human life, and an animals life, endangered or not, then I believe that we choose the human. I know It’s terrible, and I hate to say it, but I believe that humans should protect other humans first and for most. The case with Harambe, and the Cincinnati is tragic, but we must trust the National Wild Reserve that they will do their absolute best to continue to save the endangered animals.

    What do you think would have happened if the Harambe incident went the other way around? #MyCmstArgs #DoNowULife

  • Carolyn Gurstein

    I personally think this is a really difficult subject to discuss because I feel that animals have every right to live as do humans. Humans can never one hundred percent understand or predict what an animal is thinking and what they are going to do. I understand why the zoo decided to kill Harambe, a young child who could not defend for himself was in there and no one knew what was going to happen to him. I think we need to think what we would do if the rolls were reversed. When a mama bear sees a human near her baby cub what does she do? She attacks them. It’s a natural instinct to protect those of your own kind. I think it’s tragic that these animals have to die but I feel it is justifiable because what other choice do we have? Wait and risk the babies life or ensure that that child will live and unfortunately kill the animal. I think we need to focus more on how that child got in there in the first place. We need to better protect young children and animals from each other so another sad incident like this doesn’t happen again. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • Shelby

      Thanks for sharing the zoos defense, that was an interesting read! Also I thought your idea of the role reversal was an interesting scenario to imagine and definitely broadened my thinking. I completely agree with you on the basis that we really need to consider how the child got into the caged area. Clearly the guardian of the child was not being responsible at the moment, and clearly the zoo did not take all protective means necessary to keep children out. # DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • hayleyhibbens

    This topic is a really difficult one, because there are perfectly reasonable arguments for both sides. I can see why the person who killed Harambe felt that that was the only course of action at that time. An innocent child’s life was at stake, and this person was trying to protect someone who wouldn’t have been able to protect themselves. On the flip side, Harambe is an endangered animal who is locked in a pen by us, and this child crawled into his pen and disturbed his peace, so it doesn’t seem right that he should have to suffer because of this. I really don’t know how I would have reacted if I had been involved. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowULife

    • Keaton Hill

      I agree that this is a difficult topic to take on. I also get why they killed Harambe as well in such a heated situation with little time to think everything out. Especially since it was a child’s life that was at stake in that situation. However, I do partially understand the concern about endangered animals as well. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • Shelby

    I think that there are bigger issues to look at in this example than simply whether or not Harambe should have been shot when the boy fell into his caged area. First, the Western Lowland Gorilla should not be an endangered animal to begin with, because we shouldn’t be deforesting our earth and taking away the homes of millions of animals and wildlife. Following this, we definitely should not be placing these endangered animals in zoos as objects of entertainment on the basis of “they are endangered and are protected here” when we were the ones that made them few and far in between in the first place. Consequently, if we don’t make these animals endangered, and if we don’t put these animals in zoos, then the chance of a small boy falling into Harambe’s caged area does not even become a possible scenario. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • marjon blount

    In my opinion animals lives are just as valuable as a humans life. In this case a animal is brought out of its natural habitat into a zoo setting, why were there no precautionary measure to keep people from falling into the animal exhibits? Why were there no back up safety measures? I do not believe we should have killed the gorilla, the gorilla should have been sedated as there was no visual harm being committed to the child. who is to say a humans life is more important than a animals life, especially another mammal. DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • marjon blount

      I agree with you on this one ! There are a lot of different circumstances that are very hard to make the best decisions upon. If the gorilla were not to be killed and the child were to be killed we would have still been angered but here is an respectable case made by the Cincinnati zoo http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36414813 DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • Keaton Hill

    I do think that is is justifiable to kill an animal if a human life is in danger, especially if that human life was that of a young child, like in the situation at the Cincinnati Zoo back in May of this year. We can’t be entirely sure that waiting and seeing what the gorilla might do would have been a good idea because wild animals have proven to be unpredictable in the past. In situations like this, quick action is needed and there is little room for risk. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • Kenny Clark

    This is a difficult question to answer, and I believe there shouldn’t be just one right answer. However, in this situation, I believe Harambe was shot down for all the wrong reasons. There was little effort to rescue the child by taking out the gorilla in any nonlethal ways. Now in the case of being in the wild, in the natural habitat of the endangered animal, I believe that using self defense is the correct thing to do. At least in the wild, the animal has a fair, possibly greater chance than you do to survive. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • Tanya Arevalo

    It’s sad to mention this but I believe it is justifiable to kill an animal if a human life is at risk. It is extremely sad to kill an endangered animal because a parent was irresponsible and did not take care of their kid carefully enough and that the kid fail in the pit. The parent ended up putting both their kid and the animals life in danger. I knew that if my kid was in a pit with an animal and either my kid had to live or the animal had to live, i would choose my kid anytime. As the article mentions “Many people believe that a human’s life is more valuable than the life of an animal, regardless of whether it is close to extinction or not.” Which is very true anyone would choose to protect their child’s life over an animal’s life.#DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • Saraya Rider

      I agree with your statement. It was definitely the irresponsible parent’s fault that the kid fell in. That being said, I still believe the loss of life was very unnecessary. It would take the same time to shoot the gorilla with a tranquilizer gun that it would to shoot it with the real gun.

    • Anna Ingram

      I agree with your viewpoint. By putting ourselves in the parents shoes, we all have the same perspective of wanting our child to live. Event though the parents could have watched the child more and paid closer attention, it did not change the fact that a young boy was in danger and something needed to be done. Preserving human life won, and I think that is the right perspective to have.

  • Blaine Ball

    In the case of a human’s life being at risk for a completely accidental reason, they should be able to defend themselves or be defended by another individual. The situation becomes problematic when one is attempting to mess with a wild animal, when it is more than natural for the animal to become scared and often violent. In the case of the gorilla it is unfortunate that it was killed for that particular reason. #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

    • Saraya Rider

      I agree with your statement. I think a big part of the problem is that wild animals are being taken out of their natural environments thus making them feel like they need to defend themselves. Without this, attacks would be pretty much nonexistent.

  • EndlessBeauty

    I really don’t have much to say about rather it’s okay to kill an animal to protect a human. To me it seems like many people are so quick to try and protect an animal, but are not so quick to defend a human. It’s not okay for an animal to be killed because a person may not be in danger and they want to protect the animal, but when a human is being killed for looking like they are going to do something to a police than it’s an instant kill with no justification. it seems to me that an animals life is valued more than a humans.
    #MyCMST255

  • Saraya Rider

    I do not believe anything that happened at the Zoo was reasonable at all. In my opinion, endangered animals should not be in zoos in the first place. They belong in the wild or at protected sanctuaries, not in zoos to be viewed like a piece of art. I do not believe killing this animal or animal to save a human life is justifiable. Like the article stated, there were other options available such as tranquilizers. I do not think it was justified at all since he did not harm the child whatsoever. Here is a link with more information about the situation. http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/harambe-gorilla-cincinnati-zoo/
    #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs

  • K. Smith

    I do not think it is morally justifiable to kill either an endangered animal or a human being, so this issue for me is how to avoid the problem all together. With the incident that happened at the Cincinnati Zoo I believe that it should have never gotten to the point that it did. After the documentary, Blackfish (http://www.blackfishmovie.com), came out across the globe we have been seeing SeaWorlds closing and returning animals to their natural habitat or putting them in sanctuaries. Maybe it is time to start considering doing the same for animals in the zoo? And if not that, then maybe better fencing and security for enclosures so that people cannot easily get in. What happened was horrific and it outraged a lot of people. Many blamed the parents, some blamed the zoo, and others were angry with the individuals who killed Harambe. Regardless, no one is to blame for what happened – accidents occur all the time but this time a life was taken as a result. It was and is a human problem, so humans need to come together to fix it to make sure it doesn’t happen again. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowULife

  • bgirl272

    I think that because we have the darts to put the animals to sleep there is no need to kill them. They work really fast so the same time they would be killed by a real gun they could just be sleeping and get the human out of harms way. We need to protect endangered animals as much as we can and be more careful in the beginning not to allow anything like this to happen. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/1zzt5a/eli5_do_tranquilizer_darts_really_take_instant/?client=safari

  • Anna Ingram

    I do agree with the killing of the gorilla Harambe in this case. Each situation is different, but a little boy’s life was in danger. Endangered animals should be preserved because of the greatness they add to America, but human defense should always come first. The Earth is overpopulated with humans, but all human life has dignity and matters.

  • Nishi Patel

    I don’t believe that killing the gorilla was justifiable. Yes the child was in possible danger, but it would have been better to have tranquilized the animal than to kill it. Not only was that killing an innocent creature, but it also further scars the child who saw the animal killed in front of him. Animals are endangered mainly due to the actions of humans and the aftermath of our controllable population growth and resource exploitation.

  • Dr. Woods

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ee2483fb5a85dd45aaa268fcf468ac89da4c28dde3cdb9db0af758f447c04cfe.jpg I do not believe Harambe should have been killed. The mother should have been more careful and aware of her own child. If it was a crocodile cage, I would understand if it had to be killed, however, Harambe showed no signs of aggression towards the child. The person who shot Harambe should be investigated and trialed for the killing an endangered animal. The zoo should have made sure their fence was able to protect kids from falling into the cage. #GorillaLifeMatters

  • liz

    No, it is not morally justifiable to kill an endangered species if a human life is at risk. The zoo should not have made the choice to kill the gorilla, they could have taken other precautions like tranquilizing him or having more secure gates. Yes, the tranquilizer may have had taken a while and may have irritated the gorilla but they should have at least tried before shooting him. The gorilla also showed no signs of aggression towards the little boy. Overall endangered species should be protected not killed, they have the same value as us humans.

    • Aditi Dave

      I do agree with you that it is not morally justifiable to kill an animal on the endangered species list even at the stake of human life. With advancement of zoo security, proper zoo keeper and staff training, and ethical methods of handling threatening situations, zoos should be respond more ethically and respectfully towards animals. Shooting at an animal on the endangered species list sparks controversy rather than subsides the issue. I do understand the zoo’s intentions behind saving the little boy, but I do not believe that humans should place themselves at a higher pedestal giving them the right to kill the animal; all animals should be valued just as much as humans.

  • Andy Woodbury University

    The question at hand is “Is it morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk? This question is asked in response to the incident at the Cincinnati Zoo where a toddler fell into an endangered Gorilla living habitat and people believed the toddler’s life was at risk and therefore the Gorilla was shot and killed. We believe in this situation that if we were the parent of the toddler, that yes it is justifiable. However, in the same breath this is an incident that should have never happened. More information came out later that the surrounding barrier was not up to standard. This is a testament that government needs to have better standards when it comes to designing and regulations of animal’s habitats for zoos. In addition we believe that zookeepers could be better trained in terms of animal psychology to be able to predict and understand how this situation might be handled better and give the endangered Gorilla a fair chance to have its life taken into account as there is a chance the Gorilla might not have harmed the toddler.

  • chaos guardian

    Humans are animals too , and anything that’s endangered must come before anything that’s not endangered including humans , healthy endangered animals should not be killed under any circumstances . Zoos should put the animals lives first and tazers would have solved the situation

    • Karla

      I agree and think that the zoo could have explored more options other than just the one. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Christian Winds

    I would prefer solutions that benefit both humans and animals – unused methods that prevent harm to both humans and animals may still exist. Additional methods can be created to prevent life or death situations from arising, providing benefit to both humans and animals by averting potentially fatal circumstances.

  • Christian Winds

    For circumstances requiring immediate action, the contexts of each event are too varied for me to reliably provide an answer to use for all situations. However, both excessive haste to kill and excessive idleness to action may be possible for potentially life or death situations – both unneeded killing and unneeded idleness may prevent the realization of better solutions. In addition, a circumstance perceived as a life or death event may not actually be a life or death event; likewise, a circumstance not viewed as a life or death event may actually be a life or death situation. A perception of an event may miss viable solution possibilities in which no death is needed, and a perception can also miss notice of when, even with each available solution, avoidance of death is impossible. Regard of events based upon weighing human and animal lives against each other may direct attention away from possibilities favorable to both humans and animals, potentially resulting in needless deaths and other unnecessary harm

  • Aditi Dave

    I do believe that it was morally justifiable to kill Harambe and place human life at a higher pedestal than animals. Both animals and humans impact the environment and community around them, and animal lives should be admired just as much as humans. However, each situation is different, and each side of the argument states valid points in life-threatening situations. I do understand the intentions of the zoo of protecting the child, but I do not see a reason for the zoo to kill the gorilla. With modern-day facilities and new technology, zoo’s should have proper security as well as ethical ways to solve issues like this, such as having tranquilizers and materials. Also, zookeepers and other staff should have prper training in how to seal with threatening situations. To shoot a gun at an animal whose history on the endangered species list is well known is similar to sparking a controversial issue that affects not only themselves, but the future of the zoo. Animal lives are valuable and should be treated with same respect as humans receive.

  • Skyler Hofbauer

    Anyone who has a child can tell you parenting is challenging, but along with having a child, a ton of responsibilities follow, including keeping an eye on them at all times. This was not in the mind of the parent who’s child fell into a gorilla cage at Cincinnati Zoo. Within these events, a 450 lb. animal had hold of a small child (Goodall, 2016). In order to counteract the attacked, said gorilla was killed to spare the child’s life. This sparks the question: Do we value human life above other species? Proven time and time again, this reigns to be true. With 7.4 billion people roaming the planet, we decided a child’s life consists of more worth than an endangered species (Source B). The actions of humanity only deteriorate the water and land surrounding us, while alternative species learn to live around it and grow with the surrounding atmosphere. Why is it we value an anarchist over a part of nature? This question may never be answered, but the least it could do is make you think about how you value your life and the life around you. We can come up with as many excuses as we please, whether it was a lose-lose situation or simply self defense (Velleco, 2010), there is no justification for valuing one life over another.

  • John Crittenden

    “On May 28, 2016, a toddler fell into the exhibit of a Western Lowland gorilla named Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo. The gorilla grabbed the child and dragged him. A zoo employee shot the gorilla because he believed that Harambe would have injured or killed the child. This sparked a heated debate over whether killing this gorilla was the ethical thing to do.” I think it was 100% the right thing to do in this situation. If the animal was endangered or not, that kid was in danger right then and there. I think the person who shot the gorilla should be considered a hero for saving the kids life. If anyone has watched the video they can clearly see that the little boy is being dragged, Also it says if you click on the link to “Harambe Gorilla Killing: Zoo Defends Shooting” It is clearly stated that “US wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin told the BBC that he did not think zoo staff had any alternative as the gorilla was so powerful – easily six to eight times as powerful as an adult male human.
    Tranquilizing a large animal is not instant, he said. It could take many minutes and require multiple darts.” So in those minutes the boy more than likely would have died. So it was a very heroic thing to do by the whomever shot the gorilla to pick up the gun and take the shot. Yes it is very sad that this happened and the gorilla died but when something like this happens you have to act quick. Think if your kid was being dragged, would you want the gorilla to stop in a instant or be shot at multiple times and have your 4 year old dragged around like a rag doll? i know i’d want it to end at an instant. So yes I think it is morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk.

  • My moms a G.I. Joe

    Brandon Rose
    2nd Hour
    November 29, 2016
    Is it Mortally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk

    BBC News Harambe Gorilla Killing Zoo defends Shooting, U.S and Canadian News http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36414813 . This incident has caused a massive spark in social media and news, as this was a wrongful killing to this endangered animal. The reason this is such a big deal is because, someone couldn’t watch their child they were too busy doing other things of much more importance. Once the child had landed in the pit where the gorilla had lived it quickly became a survival of the fittest movement. The zoo keepers say they have no choice but to shoot it to even begin to foresee what could have happen. BBC News US wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin told the BBC that he did not think zoo staff had any alternative as the gorilla was so powerful, U.S and Canadian News http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36414813. Although given it was a scary happening I personally don’t think it needed to be taken to such an extreme. Azzedine downes The only thing that can be known from the video is that a 450 lb animal had hold of a small child. http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/news/jane-goodall-azzedine-downes-together-offer-thoughts-tragic-harambe-killing. This piece of an article is a Q and A article questioning Jane Goodall known for begin one of the world’s most primitive expert even says that anything could have happened in the pit but, we for sure took actions a little bit too far. Its hard to say really what was right and wrong but hopefully we learn from our mistakes.

  • Craig

    I believe it is okay to kill the animal if it is attempting to harm the human. Put yourself in the person’s shoes. Harambe for example the kid was being drug around by a gorilla. Would you want to wait and see what happens? How would you know what that gorilla could do? “But people making those criticisms “don’t understand primate biology… and the danger the child was in”(Harambe gorilla killing: Zoo defends shooting). Jane Goodall is known as one of the world’s foremost experts on primates, she was asked “Did the zoo make the right decision? Could they have tranquilized Harambe?” She replied “it takes time for a tranquilizing dart to take effect. It was awful for the child, the parents, Harambe, the zoo, the keepers and the public. But when people come into contact with wild animals, life and death decisions sometimes have to be made.” (Jane Goodall, Azzedine Downes together offer thoughts on tragic Harambe killing). She was also asked “many people are interested in knowing what you think of Harambe’s behavior with the boy. Can you guess what Harambe was thinking, or interpret his behavior?” and replied “Harambe could have hurt the child even without intending to cause harm. And it would be difficult for even people familiar with Harambe himself, researchers or keepers who may have spent hours with Harambe, to ascertain his intentions”

  • Jordan Hull

    I believe that Harambe should not have been killed and maybe the mother should have been paying better attention to her child. How do you know what the gorilla was going to do? That’s right, you don’t. There are other options then just going and killing Harambe. And this goes for any other animal, endangered or not. In most cases, if the animal is trying to attack you it is just you being in the wrong place at the wrong time probably making that animal feel threatened. We are the people that put them in the cages in the first place, and then kill them for a stupid mistake that we made. That isn’t fair what so ever. As Richard Nixon stated, “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed. It is a many-faceted treasure, of value to scholars, scientists, and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part of the heritage we all share as Americans.” (Sencer November 2, 2016 Is It Morally Justifiable to Kill an Endangered Animal if a Human Life Is at Risk?) “Imagine a unique set of scales that measures the value of life. If a single human were on one side, how many chimpanzees (our closest genetic relatives) would need to be on the other side before the scales tipped in their direction?” (Daniel Crimson Brock Bastian, Matthew Hornsey, Paul Bain June 8, 2016 How do we weigh the moral value of human lives against animal ones?) I think that even with one chimpanzee on the other side of the scale they should be even. People make the fight that black lives matter and white lives matter and whatever else but i think that we should be saying that animals lives matter.

  • Grace

    Harambe the gorilla’s death caused more than just a torrent of memes; it set fire to a heated debate on whether or not a human’s life is more valuable or sacred than an animal’s life. Is killing a creature for the sake of a person’s life ethical? According to Dr. Jane Goodall (2016), “life and death decisions sometimes have to be made” and even if the zoo had used a tranquilizer, the time it would take for the dart to take effect would leave room for more danger. Yet, is it even the gorilla’s fault? The parents, whose own responsibility is to protect and care for their child, failed. The zoo, whose responsibility to protect and care for their animals and their visitors, failed. However, the gorilla, whose own animal kingdom responsibility is to survive, (from my cold hearted standpoint) did nothing wrong. Also, when put in perspective as to how traumatic Harambe’s death really was: 7.4 billion humans exist on the planet, whereas Western Lowland gorillas are critically endangered, according to The Conversation (2016). Meaning one death for this species, in simple terms, is a really big deal. Still, according to BBC (2016), the director of the Cincinnati Zoo, Thane Maynard, said he “would still make the same call today” even knowing the outcries he would face. The sad, but true fact of the matter is that humans are at the top of the food chain and although heavily more advanced than every other species, without knowing it humans still live in a “kill or get killed” kind of world. Just like every other species, we’ll do anything to protect our own.

  • Audrey Giammalva

    It is not justifiable to kill and endangered animal if a human life is at risk. I say this because, with the example of Harambe, an endangered gorilla, people believed that “Harambe would have injured or killed the child,” (KQED, SENCER), yet, zoo officials didn’t even attempt to sedate the gorilla. In other words, something could have been done to prevent the death of Harambe. People have been trying to help endangered animals for many years. One example is that, “Animal rights activists lobbied incoming President Obama unsuccessfully to reverse the Bush administration decision,” (Self Defense vs. ESA, Velleco). This decision was one that, “President George W. Bush battled environmentalists for years over the ESA, and especially regarding delisting the gray wolf in Montana and other Rocky Mountain states,” (Self Defense vs. ESA, Velleco). Yes, these animals are dangerous, but they also need our help by having us not kill them. Now how does someone measure the importance of a human life to an endangered animal’s life? “Perhaps we can try to frame the comparison in relative terms. There are 7.4 billion human beings on the planet, whereas Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered,” (How do we weigh the moral value of human lives against animal ones?, Crimston, Bastian, Hornsey, Bain). There is also the argument within the Harambe example that the human was just a little boy. But then again, why was the little boy in the enclosure in the first place? The boy’s mother didn’t watch her own son properly. If she would have done what every mother should always do, Harambe could still be alive. In conclusion, there are many things that can be said as to avoiding the main question of is it morally justifiable to kill and endangered animal if a human life is at risk. Harmabe could have been sedated, the mother should have watched over her child more carefully, and so on. But when it comes down to it, in respect to numbers, there are more humans than endangered animals. Therefore, it is not morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk.

  • Jake T

    Animals deserve rights under this planet. Before we shoot and animal, and take its life, we should ask ourselves if that is the only choice to solve the situation. There is clearly some conflict between those who believe we should have saved the animal and who think that the right choice was made to kill the animal. Nearly 200,000 people have signed an online petition protesting Harambe’s killing (BBC 2016). There was a child life in danger during the Harambe incident but it was created by a human screwing up. It was the gorilla’s primal instinct to pounce on a possible threat. All you know is that that Harambe could have the intention to harm the childe (Downes 2016).
    Us humans have values of life. It is sometimes forgotten that animals have life values to and that they are very similar to ours (Conversation 2016). For example, the gorillas are very similar. They want to protect their family and themselves by keeping the threats out. When they are face with a threat, the want to eliminate it as quickly as possible or they could possibly be harmed. To stay alive in this world the animals have to rely on what they know to survive.

  • Kennedy Mesnard

    We have all heard of the horrible accident involving a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, or have at least heard the name Harambe floating around, due to the fact that, “a zoo employee shot the gorilla because he believed that Harambe would have injured or killed the child” (SENCER, 2016). The toddler was seen being dragged by the gorilla, and this sparked initial concern for the over-all well-being of the child, which initiated the decision to shoot the gorilla. “The director of a US zoo has defended the decision to shoot a gorilla after a small boy fell into its enclosure” (BBC, 2016). As BBC stated in an article from May, the employee was defended in his decision, because he had come to the conclusion that the child was in immediate danger. This, however, has sparked a huge debate whether killing an endangered animal is ethical when it comes to a human life being at risk of any harm. I personally believe that if a human life is in eminent danger, that the killing of the animal, if is the only option in that specific scenario, would be the right thing to do. It would be unethical to stand by and watch an individual get attacked by an animal, if there was something that could be done to stop it. However, it should be the last case scenario to ever kill an endangered species. Therefore, I believe that all other possible options to get the animal away from the person, before any harm is done, should be given the “old college try” before heading towards that last resort. “Many of us feel a deep moral responsibility not just to protect our fellow humans, but to guard the moral rights of entities the world over” (Crimston et. al., 2016). Over the past few centuries, we, specifically in the U.S., have been seen fighting for more animal and wild-life protection than previously. It is obvious that we care for living organisms of different species, but when it comes down to a life-or-death situation, we are going to fight the hardest to save one of our own. While I believe that every step before the killing of the endangered animal should be taken first, I ask, how do we define the life of a human being in eminent danger with the animal at hand?

  • Devra Athanasiadis

    No, it is not morally justifiable to kill endangered animals if a human life is at risk. I believe it’s immoral because animals have a natural sense to protect themselves and or their environment and if they are threatened by a human and attack, harm or kill that human, it’s is not the animals fault. Humans know right from wrong, animals do not. Despite the fact that these animals are endangered, meaning that they could become extinct. Humans, are not endangered. “Wolves, African painted dogs, Siberian tigers, and polar bears are among some of the endangered animals that have been killed since 1987 in self-defense situations in zoos or in the wild.”(Sencer,2016) These animals are just doing what they know what to do: survive. Yet, they get shot and killed for it endangering their species just that much more, just because of their natural ability and ignorant tourists. Also, it is mentioned that it is the responsibility of the zoo or sanctuary to educate its visitors on the species in the wild, and projects contribution to the well being of this animal around the world. (Downes,2016) These are hard questions to answer, yet, everyone feels strongly on either side such as this statement, “Some people said they would sacrifice their life if it meant that just a few chimpanzees would keep theirs. Others said it wouldn’t matter how many animals or trees were in danger; a human life was simply worth more.” (Bain,Hornsey,Bastian,Crimston,2016) I stand strong on my opinion. There are billions of humans, but only a few Western lowland gorillas left. (Bain,Hornsey,Bastian,Crimston,2016)

  • Kayla Murphy

    In my opinion, animals are living just like people are, so why should they be punished for something a human does? Animals living in a zoo are not trained to be nice to people, they don’t know any better, so what makes them the ones that have to be punished? “Imagine a unique set of scales that measures the value of life. If a single human were on one side, how many chimpanzees (our closest genetic relatives) would need to be on the other side before the scales tipped in their direction?” (Crimston, Bastian, Hornsey, & Bain, 2016). I thought that quote had an interesting comparison. Downes, (2016) says, “Because of the gorilla being killed in his own home, people are questioning whether the right action was taken, and why gorillas and other animals are kept in zoos at all.” The purpose of having zoos is to protect endangered animals, so why would you kill them? John Velleco, (2010) said, “ When Mark Appleby and Raymond Pitman went to retrieve an elk that was shot near the Hungry Horse Reservoir, they found themselves and their horses surrounded by six to eight wolves.” They ended up shooting them to save their own lives, and that seemed like the right thing to do. Animals don’t know any better and it’s a shame that they are the ones that end up hurt.

  • Olivia DuBay

    I do not believe that this action is justifiable at all. As people, we have the moral strength to decide whether our actions are rational or not. If a human life is at stake and the animal has endangered a person, we have a duty to its species to allow the animal to live. When a person kills another person, we don’t always say that the shooter should be put to death. After all, “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. As previously mentioned, humans have the innate capacity for moral righteousness. “Many of us feel a deep responsibility not just to protect our fellow humans, but to guard the moral rights of entities the world over” (Crimston et al, 2016). Why then, should these entities not include animals? In the same study, Crimston and his team learned that people are more likely to save a few chimps than to risk the chimps’ lives to save their own (Crimston et al, 2016). In an interview with Jane Goodall, Dr. Goodall said this of the unfortunate injustice of the Harambe incident, “We are all interconnected with each other and the natural world, and when we ask ourselves how our decisions will affect others, human or animal… we can collectively make a huge difference” (Goodall 2016). It is not morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk. We have a moral obligation to the mortality of a species.

  • Libbey Jacobs

    In my opinion, it can be justifiable to kill an animal if it
    were to put a human life at risk. In the article Jane Goodall, Azzedine Downes together offer
    thoughts on tragic Harambe killing
    Mr. Goodall when asked if what the zoo did was the right thing to do responded
    with “when people come into contact with wild
    animals, life and death decisions sometimes have to be made.” Downes (2016)
    explained in his interview. In some cases, such as Harambe, there’re certain measures
    to think about and what would be the safest thing for the human, in this case
    the child. In another article called Self-Defense
    Versus the Endangered Species Act they told a story of a group of
    people and their horses who were surrounded by six ravenous gray wolfs. (Velleco,2010)
    According to me that is a situation where killing an animal is justifiable, but
    when an animal may or may not be harming a human, that is un justifiable. In
    the same article is says “For decades, environmental and animal rights
    extremists have pushed for forced reintroduction of the gray wolf. This has
    caused loss of livestock for ranchers, jeopardizes the viability of the elk and
    other wildlife in some areas, and, although still rare, is an increasing threat
    to humans.” (Velleco, 2010). This, like many other cases, is justifiable. I believe
    that when an animal is causing harm on other animals, humans, and our livelihoods
    that’s when it is time to take action.

  • Maxx Nichols

    May 28, 2016 was a day that brought major controversy over the American people after Cincinnati Zoo gorilla Harambe was shot and killed. When faced with the situation of the life of a human child, and that of a gorilla, I would have to side with the humans. In contrast, however, the approach to solving the problem could have been handled differently, but “Tranquilizing a large animal is not instant, he said. It could take many minutes and require multiple darts” (BBC, May 30, 2016). Since Harambe was wild and not domesticated, nobody knows exactly how he would react to the boy’s presence. The zoo could have possibly tried tranquillization, but since Harambe had already come into contact with the child, so in order to save the child from any life threatening scenarios, it was in the zoo’s best interest to shoot Harambe. When talking about the decision to take Harambe’s life, The Conversation mentions, “Zoo handlers were faced with the agonising decision to take Harambe’s life to ensure the young boy would not lose his” (June 8, 2016). If the boy would have lost his life, the zoo also could have faced legal procedures such as a lawsuit. “Many of us feel a deep moral responsibility not just to protect our fellow humans, but to guard the moral rights of entities the world over” (The Conversation, June 8, 2016). Though many people feel that animals, especially those who are endangered, deserve the same chances at life as a human would, the Harambe case was morally justifiable. If he would have harmed the child, there may have even been a larger controversy. Though it may not be moral in a multiplicity of respects, the gorillas can be bred in captivity, and the choice to favor the life of the human is our nature. Animals kill other animals all of the time so that they can protect the other members of their species. In the case of Harambe, an animal killed another animal to protect its species.

  • Hannah Watton

    I believe that it morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if they are endangering a human life. It’s different if a human life is merely “at risk.” I believe every situation is unique and should be handled thusly. In the case of Harambe: “The gorilla grabbed the child and dragged him. A zoo employee shot the gorilla because he believed that Harambe would have injured or killed the child.” (Sencer, 2016) In this situation the endangered animal was dragging around a young child that could not defend himself. The person who killed Harambe (an endangered animal) was an employee of the Zoo the gorilla was confined in. Many people on the internet have been in an uproar because they believed that the child could have been saved without killing Harambe. They could have tried to tranquilize the gorilla, but here’s the problem “…it takes time for a tranquilizing dart to take effect.” (Sencer, 2016) The dart could have irritated the already uneasy gorilla and caused him to lash out endangering the human child further. The worker at the Zoo who shot Harambe had to have more knowledge about the animal’s temperament than anyone complaining on the internet. He was right by making that call and I am positive the decision was made with great consideration. I trust the worker and his actions and I am happy that the child is alive and well. Dr. Jane Goodall said, “it would be difficult for even people familiar with Harambe himself, researchers or keepers who may have spent hours with Harambe, to ascertain his intentions from a distance in as short a time as it would take to do irreparable harm. It certainly appeared at times that he was being gentle, but he was nervous and agitated by the unexpected arrival of the child and the shouting of the people watching.” (Downes, 2016) Here we can clearly see that the Zoo worker was making a safe move. From the words of professionals, my own personal feelings about endangered animals, and about human life, I believe it is morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if they are endangering a human.

  • Devin LaFond

    It was on May 28, of 2016, when a young child decided to get into a gorilla habitat. The boy was then approached by the gorilla, Harambe, which then people began to freak out, spooking Harambe who grabbed the child and dragged him through water which then the zoo decided they needed to shoot to kill in order to protect the boy’s life (Bain, Bastian, Crimston, & Hornsey, 2016).
    Harambe was a Western Lowland gorilla which is considered critically endangered due to factors like deforestation and infertility (Sencer, 2016). The zoo felt that they had no other choice, so they had to take the shots, even if the gorilla had no intention to hurt the boy, Harambe still could have hurt the child without intending to, being 450 pounds and he was becoming nervous and agitated by the crowd and unexpected arrival of the child, it wouldn’t have taken much to do irreparable harm (Downes, 2016). In this situation, the zoo thought it was the moral choice to take out the endangered animal in order to save a human boy, not really having many solutions with time running so short with the boy’s life could have been in danger.
    If it weren’t for the boy being there in the first place and the mother doing her job to not let that happen, we would’ve never had to worry about this situation. Harambe was a part of an endangered species against a human child who is nowhere close to extinction. We favor our own race over another which made it morally justifiable then. I believe that the killing of Harambe was wrong, there could have been another solution, and the child was foolish enough to fall into the enclosure, having said that, I think it was morally right because the child had no way to defend himself against Harambe if things did get ugly, where an adult would have better chances.

  • Megan Griffes

    How do humans decide whether taking the life of an endangered animal is worth saving the life of a human? It is definitely not an easy question to answer. It brings up the question of How do we decide what our own lives are worth compared with other species? (Crimston and Bastian, 2016, p. 1) In my opinion, I think a human life is worth more than an animal’s. If it was your child at risk, the animal’s life would probably mean nothing. I can’t imagine the parent of a child saying not to kill the animal because it was endangered. Therefore, someone else has no right to blame someone for being saved or saving themselves, all humans have the right to life. This does not mean I think it is okay to kill any animal, it should be an absolutely last resort. When it comes to the zoo, there is not only a child’s life at stake but also the zoo’s reputation and it can be a painful decision, people would have been upset either way. In a 2016 article, Downes says “I don’t think the zoo had any other choice. That is the sad fact about keeping wild animals in captivity. There is always a potential risk to public safety and to the animal.” There is validity in his statement. Going to a zoo is risky but it should never have to come to a life or death decision. In conclusion, I believe it would be the right thing to kill an animal instead of a person, but only if absolutely necessary. (264)

  • Evan Koetje

    Evan Koetje
    6th Hour
    November 29, 2016
    Is It Morally Justifiable to Kill and Endangered Animal if a Human Life is at Risk

    In my opinion, it is totally acceptable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk. The biggest example of this happening was May 28, 2016 when a kid fell into a gorilla named Harambe’s enclosure, and shot the gorilla because it started dragging the kid around. The gorilla started to threaten the child’s life, and so the rangers felt there was no other choice than to kill the gorilla. “The killing of the male western lowland gorilla, Harambe, has sparked anger” (BBC, 2016) Many people feel that it was not right to kill the gorilla, and that they should have tranquilized it instead. Though if they did this, there could have been other complications, like if the shot only got it more angry and did further harm to the child. Another argument that people make was that Harambe probably was not trying to hurt the child. But as Dr. Goodall stated, “Harambe could have hurt the child even without intending to cause harm” (Downes, 2016).
    Many people also believe that Harambe’s life is worth more than the child’s, as there are over seven billion humans and gorillas are critically endangered. This poses a good question of “Does a human life hold more value than that of a member of a critically endangered animal species?” (Crimston, Bastian, Hornsey, Bain, 2016). This is a hard question to ask because it is very complicated to determine the value of one life to another.
    Overall I feel that it was a good thing that they shot Harambe instead of letting it do whatever to the child, or even waiting another minute. So to sum it up, I do think that it is morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk.

  • Emma Dunneback

    Emma Dunneback

    29 November 2016

    English 111

    Is It Morally Justifiable to Kill an Endangered Animal if a Human Life Is at Risk?

    Yes, my opinion on this topic has never changed, I have always believed that it is morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk. Now, when i take a step into the shoes of those with an opposite opinion I do understand where they are coming from but in my opinion, human life is more valuable than an animals, that small boy has generations of family that love him and a life to grow to live for many years; no ones knows when the animal might die and I’m not saying people don’t care about it but it doesn’t have a family like a human child does. The owner of the zoo in which the attack happened also defended the decision to shoot the animal. Thane Maynard of the Cincinnati zoo said that the would have taken the same action today because the gorilla was angry and was targeting the child (BBC, 2016).

    The question is brought up why do we keep gorillas at zoos anyways after the Harambe incident exploded (Downes, 2016). Which is a question that I often ask myself because at the end of the day, they are wild animals, just because they are at a zoo that doesn’t make them safe for children, or anyone to be around. They are not meant to,live in enclosures and in my opinion they should be able to live in the wild, that is where they belong. A question that Jane
    Goodall received was “Dr. Goodall, you are known as one of the world’s foremost experts on primates. Therefore many people are interested in knowing what you think of Harambe’s behavior with the boy. Can you guess what Harambe was thinking, or interpret his behavior?” (Downes, 2016) But the problem that I see in this is like I said before, Harambe is a wild animal, you cannot guess his behavior, and you can’t reminisce in the fact that maybe he wasn’t going to hurt the boy because the boy’s life was still at risk, regardless.

  • Cody Wright

    When I asked myself this question I thought of a situation a while ago at the Cincinnati zoo when the gorilla Harambe was shot and killed due to a young boy that fell into the gorilla’s enclosure. With the fear of the boy’s life in danger responders made a hard decision to shoot the gorilla to protect the boy. (KQED, Learn more, lines 1-9).
    I also put myself in a situation, though I put my own life in danger this time. If I were being attacked by an animal that were endangered I would not have a problem saving my own life and thus not having an issue with protecting someone else for my own moral sake. With this said I have firsthand read terrifying stories of people being killed by animals protecting their own, giving evidence that this is a natural phenomenon. Putting a greater moral value on a fellow human’s life is completely natural with the concept of moral expansion. (Page 1, Paragraph 2, Lines 1-8).
    Though with all of this said, endangered species must be treated with great care and we as human need to balance our world with the animal world by means of conservation and protocols to prevent unneeded killing in sanctuaries for these animals. (The Endangered Species Act, 40 years at the Forefront of WildlifeVideo).

  • Jack Guirey

    To start I think it should be known that I as a writer and a person very much sympathize with the struggle for the countless species on our planet that are near extinction. I also do not entirely agree or like the practice of taking endangered animals out of the wild and into captivity. Having that said, I do side with the zoo’s decision to kill Harmabe the Gorilla to protect the safety of the child that fell into the enclosure. Whether you like to admit it or not, Harmabe is a wild animal, that in no way is domesticated, and can make unexpected actions. Some people say that in this case, however that Harambe seemed to be calm and did not seem like he wanted to intentionally harm the child. Even if this is true people have to realize that Harambe was a big gorilla, who even unintentionally could had harmed the child (Azzedine Downes, 2016). The main reason that I believe it is morally justifiable to kill captivated animals in self-defense because these animals were taken out of their natural habitat, and therefore are not natural, rather a captivated animal for amusement. When people were asked how many wild animals would they sacrifice their own lives to say, people fairly often say that it would be a lot of wild animals. Other people however said they would sacrifice themselves for a few wild animals because they care about saving these species (BBC News, 2016). The thing they are forgetting though is that Harmabe is not a wild animal, he was born in Austin Texas. He is not from the wild, and therefore should not be associated with the argument for protecting wild endangered species (John Velleco, 2016).

  • Mallory Dixon

    I believe that killing an endangered animal because of a human at risk is not appropriate. I say this because, with the example of Harambe, an endangered gorilla, people believed that “Harambe would have injured or killed the child,” (Spencer, 2016), yet zoo officials didn’t even attempt to sedate the gorilla. Animals also have the sense that we when it comes to protecting ourselves. Zoos probably don’t spend their whole time teaching animals at the zoo to be nice to people and how to do it. It isn’t the animals fault, humans know what is right and what is wrong. Zookeepers also can’t always be tied up to just one exhibit if something comes up and can’t always be there to watch what is going on. Zoos reach a large audience of people with their conversation message although often this could be improved and many zoos are involved in conservation of animals in the wild (Goodall, 2016). Which means that we are learning more about animals, their relationships and their inner lives. So, I believe more of the moral outlook on this. There are more than 7 billion of us and there are endangered animals. It is proven that those whose moral outlook stretched further beyond humans were more likely to say they would sacrifice themselves to benefit other animals or nature (Daniel Crimston, Brock Bastian, Matthew Hornsey & Paul Bain, 2016). But when it comes down to it there are more humans than endangered animals. Therefore, I believe that it is not morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk.

  • Hannah Warren

    In my opinion morally is justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is a risk, from what we heard lately on
    the news about Harambe the gorilla dragging a child around has caused lots of frustrationtowards animal lovers and scientists. What is more important in our society savinga human’s life or an animal’s life. I understand that this are endangered
    animals but if a human life is at risk, you should be allowed to kill it. “They were in a frenzy,” Appleby said of the
    wolves. “They were howling. It was eerie.” Thankfully, the men
    were armed and escaped with their lives and their horses. (Velleco, 2010) I
    know it is frustrating to hear endangered animals being killed, but most of the
    time it for people who do it for fun, who should be punished. Then there are others
    who do it to protect people from danger. The heartbreaking news of the death of Harambe, a popular western lowland gorilla
    at the Cincinnati Zoo, who was killed to protect a child who had fallen into
    his enclosure, has gripped the world and left many people questioning whether
    the right action was taken. (Downes, 2016) In the end human life is more important
    than an endangered animal life. Perhaps we need to consider just exactly what a human life is worth.(
    Crimston, Bastian, Hornsey, and Bain, 2016)

  • Allison

    I do not think it was justifiable to kill Harambe in this situation. I believe that the parent’s of the child that fell in should’ve been more responsible and watched their child more carefully. I think that Harambe acted appropriately given his situation. He lived his life trapped in an enclosure, outside of his natural habitat in the wild, where people would come and stare at him. “It certainly appeared at times that he was being gentle, but he was nervous and agitated by the unexpected arrival of the child and the shouting of the people watching.” (Goodall, Downes 2016). It is one thing if the gorilla was putting the boy in grave danger, but i believe he was acting as he knew how in the situation at hand. I think that other actions could’ve been taken rather than killing the gorilla, which is an endangered species, whereas humans are far from endangered.” There are 7.4 billion human beings on the planet, whereas Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered.”(Crimson, Bastain, Hornsey, Bain 2016) I find it tragic that Harambe, and many other endangered species lives are ended in this way, in acts of “self defense” . We had no way of knowing his intentions with the boy, so I don’t think the call to shoot him should’ve been made until they had properly assessed the situation. If the case were similar to that with the wolves: “‘They were in a frenzy’ Appleby said of the wolves. ‘They were howling. It was eerie.'” (Velleco 2010). I think it would’ve been acceptable to shoot Harambe, but he was just acting as he knew how, and although he was dragging the child, I don’t think he would’ve killed him. I think that it was solely the child’s parents’ responsibility to watch over the child, so as to ensure that he wouldn’t have fallen into the enclosure.

  • Mason Dossey

    I believe the gorilla should of been killed. Human lives are more important than animal lives, because we were made in God’s image. I would kill an animal one hundred times in order to save just one human life. I understand people will disagree with this opinion but that is just my personal belief. Human lives are more important than animal lives! #MyCMSTArgs

  • Julia

    Julia Blackmer
    If your life is threatened in the presence of a wild animal, of course a person should be able to defend themselves no matter how endangered that species is. When one person kills another in self defense, nobody thinks about how the loss of that person effects the world… We recognize them as a danger to society and are thankful they are no longer able to hurt others. In the Article “How do we Weigh the Moral Value of Human Lives Against Animal Ones?” They talk about how many chimpanzees would equal one human life. Comparing “7.4 billion human beings on the planet, whereas Western Lowland Gorillas are critically endangered.”(Crimson, Bastian,Hornsey and Baine, 2016). But in my opinion, you can’t compare apples to oranges. Gorillas are animals, Their brains are programmed for survival, where humans on the other hand are intricate. We have lives, families, jobs, we carry emotions, speak languages, we can sympathize with one another, gain knowledge, and grow.
    Gorillas are wild animals. No matter how long they have been in captivity, they can not be tamed as pets. They have natural instincts. If Harambe would’ve been in the wild, we wouldn’t have to choose between a child’s life or a gorillas. It is unnatural for an animal to be locked up, therefore we put ourselves in dangerous situations. Obviously the Cincinnati Zoo did the right thing by killing Harambe. Mr. Maynard, the director of the zoo,described how Harambe grabbed the toddler by the ankle and dragged him through the water, how he was disorientated and didn’t want the child to leave, plus the crowds screams made him unpredictable and agitated. (Harambe Gorilla Killing: Zoo Defends Shooting, 2016). If your child was stuck in that enclosure, I doubt you would stand by to save the life of that animal.
    Lastly, i would like to point out that the Employees at the Zoo knew Harambe better than anyone and that their decision should be respected because they are educated in Primate biology and feed and take care of that animal everyday. They understood how much danger that child was in and took quick action. (Harambe Gorilla Killing: Zoo Defends Shooting, 2016).

  • Dustin Turner

    dude I hate to do this again but that was totally unjustifiable and you all know it. For one is the gorilla really intelligent enough to know right from wrong, Even if he is he was not going to harm that toddler in any way he was just doing what his instincts told him to do. we can’t blame the gorilla “Bad gorilla why did you throw that boy in your cage?” oh wait it was also once again the parents not keeping control of their child. I mean why would you let your child fall into the inclosure, this may be too far but put a leash on your child if you have to. I am kind of glad he’s alive but just saying #theinnocentsofhurumbe

  • Karla

    This is a really hard question to answer because humans will always justify why they should be the ones to survive. I personally have a big issue with having animals locked up in zoo’s, i think its really sad and limits the amount of research that you can learn from an animal. I mean in this situation most gorillas have proved that they protect the young that they come in contact with. I mean where were the parents of this child? The whole situation could have been prevented. Its messed up that even in our “protection” they can still be killed by us. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowULife

  • TaiLi Samson

    In the case of murdering endangered animals to possibly save another person’s life, there are too many variables to consider to make a general statement regarding all animals that have been killed for the safety of a human. For example, in the case of Gorilla being murdered who seemed to have put a child’s life in danger who had fallen into its cage, an expert stated that the animal “could have hurt the child even without intending to cause harm” (Goodall, 2016). In this case, it’s hard to tell. If the gorilla did not in any way purposely hurt the child, it should absolutely not be killed. It becomes even more difficult when considering that “Many of us feel a deep moral responsibility not just to protect our fellow humans but to guard the moral rights of entities the world over”( The Conversation, 2016) .Humans feel as if we need to protect other things besides ourselves, but the conflict arises when something comes between the two. “Raymond’s pistol saved our lives. It was very ugly” (Velleco, 2010). In this particular quote, the person states that the killing of animals saved them from death, but it was not stated whether the animals were actually beginning to harm the person or not. In conclusion, it is impossible to justify either side of the argument because each case is unique and filled with too many fluctuating dimensions to investigate.

  • jhanelle rhoden

    I agree that it is morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk because even though the lives of animals are important, human lives matter more. As stated in the article http://theconversation.com/how-do-we-weigh-the-moral-value-of-human-lives-against-animal-ones-60698 I agree that the zoo handlers made the right decision even though it was claimed to be an “agonizing” one. Some will argue that it shouldn’t have been an agonizing decision but a very easy one, for the child has a future ahead of him and that is more important than Harambe. But what made it so complicated was that this specie was one of the endangered species. All I’m saying is that we need to protect the wildlife but at the same time protect ourselves from them.

  • Seth Satchwell

    Seth Satchwell
    5th Hour
    Dec. 6 2016
    Is It Morally Justifiable to Kill an Endangered Animal if a Human Life Is at Risk?
    .
    No, i don’t think that it is morally right to kill an animal to save a human’s life if one: that human put themselves in that situation out of stupidity and Two: if that animal is in an enclosure and has no option to leave. Especially if it is trapped there for humans enjoyment. Also if the animal is endangered than these situations should be treated with more thought rather than drastic measures. Now with the situation of Harambe described on KQED (Sencer,NOVEMBER 2, 2016, page one) i believe everything in that situation went wrong. The child’s mother was not keeping track of the child and put him at risk which is the proximate cause. Now Harambe thought the child was its own and dragged it around.So the zookeeper took drastic measures and shot the gorrilla which i think that other avenues shouldve been tried first but i also realize that he had to make split second descions. However The Western Lowland gorilla is considered critically endangered due to a variety of factors, including deforestation and infertility. (Sencer,NOVEMBER 2, 2016, page one) So i feel as if more precautions should have been taken and it was a careless decision. If we were out in the wild however i do believe that it would be okay. For this is a fair chance for the animal to flee or act natural and not get involved in the first place. , two hunters from Montana were suddenly surrounded by a pack of wolves. (Sencer,NOVEMBER 2, 2016, page one) I think that the self defense in this situation is justified for the hunters were at risk for their lives that they did not purposely put themselves in. It wasn’t ignorance it was just bad circumstances. So it was either they die or the wolves die and i think any sensible being would do the same .

  • Laura Stoner

    Laura Stoner
    5th Hour
    December 6th, 2016
    Is it morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk?
    Killing an endangered animal would without a doubt be a hard thing to do. Endangered animals are scarce and is causing more conflict. “As a consequence, we are increasingly likely to face ethical dilemmas over the value of human versus non-human life.” (Philpott,2016,pg:1)
    Its understandable why humans would have a hard time hurting a creature that is already endangered but human life seems to me to be more important. “But when people come into contact with wild animals, life and death decisions sometimes have to be made.” (Dr Goodall,2016,pg:1) Nobody should have to hurt an endangered animal but how to you watch an innocent life be taken away because of an animal.
    For a child – or even an adult – being in the presence of a living, breathing animal, knowing the way it smells, looking into his or her eyes, and above all sensing its ‘being-ness’ can be a life changing experience.(Dr. Goodall,2016,pg:1) Which can cause discomfort to the animal because they arnt used to being so close to a human so how they react could go good or bad.

  • Brooke Ponke

    The question of whether or not animals have rights has arisen recently primarily due to the incident at the Cincinnati zoo. There are many animals on the brink of extinction and considered endangered. The Endangered Species Act was therefore signed to protect endangered species and their ecosystems through federal law (Sencer, 2016). Richard Nixon expressed his belief that “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed” when he signed the act. Given this, it is known that there is no way to confirm or deny that a wild animal will harm people, and when people come into contact with animals, life and death decisions sometimes need to be made (Jane Goodall, 2016). It is safe to say that there could’ve been something done to prevent Harambe’s death and ensure the child’s well-being, however, it is clear that this was not the outcome of the event. Instead, the life of an endangered species was taken to guarantee the child’s safety. It is known that it is easy to say that certain things should have been done differently after the incident was over but people “don’t understand primate biology… and the danger the child was in” (Maynard, 2016). Jane Goodall stated that “There is never a 100% accident proof way of ensuring a wild animal kept in captivity will not pose a threat to people.” We need to remember this when we visit zoos and reflect of past events such as this one.

  • Megan Graves

    I think that it is justifiable to kill an animal if a human life is in danger. In my opinion, it’s the same case if someone were in danger by another human. You wouldn’t want to kill them but if it were absolutely necessary to save your own life, you would. In the Harambe incident, they could have just used tranquilizer darts. That would have been a much better alternative to just completely killing the animal before knowing his intentions with the child. In the article “How do we weigh the moral value of human lives against animal ones” sources claimed “a human life was simply worth more.” I can agree with that statement. Although I am an animal lover and I disapprove killing animals, I believe that human lives just have much more to offer, considering that we run the planet. We provide for the animals. We care for them, feed them, etc.. They cannot do that for us. In “Self-Defense Versus the Endangered Species Act”, John Velleco said a group of men were surrounded by wolves. All men were armed and safely got away. In this case, they were saving their lives as well as the other animals that were with them. Out of fear, the mean probably shot at the wolves, which would be a natural human reaction. To react to fear is to fight with death. Save yourself because you are afraid. In “Harambe gorilla killing: Zoo defends shooting” the family of the little boy was thankful for the zoo staff’s quick reaction to save their child. It was a quick, impulse decision but they felt it was necessary. And can you blame them? A child falls into a place with a big animal that hasn’t been around children physically. They didn’t know how the gorilla was going to react after longer than the child had already been with him. No harm probably would have come to the child, but no one would actually know for sure, and that’s not a risk worth taking. As I already stated, there were alternative ways to get the child to safety, but I understand they did what was needed.

  • Jimmy Santos

    Jimmy Santos
    5th Hour
    12/6/16
    Is It Morally Justifiable to Kill an Endangered Animal if a Human Life Is at Risk?
    The main argument for the several articles noted above was the killing of the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla, Harambe. The Gorilla was shot; the fault of the incident was a child who fell into his enclosure. The controversy of this topic was whether or not the gorilla should have been shot or tranquilized. World famous Primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall has made a statement referring to the shooting. “…it takes time for a tranquilizing dart to take effect. It was awful for the child, the parents, Harambe, the zoo, the keepers and the public. But when people come into contact with wild animals, life and death decisions sometimes have to be made.” And there were even claims made by the Zoo Employee who was held responsible for the death of the animal. “A zoo employee shot the gorilla because he believed that Harambe would have injured or killed the child.” I do not believe the intent was to target the gorilla itself but more to save the child. I do believe that all animals endangered or not should only be killed in life or death situations as stated above. Last but not least the article How do we weigh the moral value of human lives against animal ones? States: “As a consequence, we are increasingly likely to face ethical dilemmas over the value of human versus non-human life.” This is a topic still largely conversed and will possibly always be a debate between groups of people.

  • Logan Mansberger

    Logan Mansberger
    5th Hour
    December 6, 2016
    Is It Morally Justifiable to Kill and Endangered Animal if a Human Life is at Risk?
    I believe it is morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk, I would value a person’s life over a animal. One of the most recent stories in today’s culture was the recent death of Harambe, the gorilla that was murder due to a child being exposed to its presence in an exhibit. Jane Goodall weighs in on the situation calling it ‘Heartbreaking’ due to the fact that the gorilla was shot, “The heartbreaking news of the death of Harambe, a popular western lowland gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, who was killed to protect a child who had fallen into his enclosure, has gripped the world.” (Downes, 2016, page one) What it have been morally Justifiable to let the child die? It really comes down to moral and ethical decisions, the family has recently thanked the zoo for their choice to kill Harambe. “The boy’s family said in a statement released to US media that he was “doing just fine” and thanked zoo staff for their quick action.” (Not cited, 2016, page one) It’s important to protect humans, without humans their would be no inventions, great accomplishments, also zoos would be non- existent. “Many of us feel a deep moral responsibility not just to protect our fellow humans, but to guard the moral rights of entities the world over.” (Croft, 2016, page one) I believe the zoo made the right choice by preserving human life.

  • Josh Markham (Reign Of Inverte

    KQED: Is it morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk?
    It’s unfortunate to see endangered animals killed by humans when it could easily have been prevented, but when it is necessary to potentially save a human life, I think it is justifiable. Zoo handlers were faced with the agonising decision to take Harambe’s life to ensure the young boy would not lose his life (Daniel Crimston, Brock Bastian, Matthew Hornsey, and Paul Bain, 2016, para 3). If the zookeeper didn’t shoot Harambe, maybe the child would have been just fine. Regardless, the gorilla proceeded to grab and drag the toddler, and what is more important to humans? Of course we value human lives more. The zoo had to take fast action, and they received so much criticism for something that could’ve turned out deadly for the little boy involved. What if the boy had died? Would those who criticize the shooting of Harambe be less upset? The zoo staff didn’t have any alternative as the gorilla was so powerful (Jeff Corwin, 2016, BBC para 11). Primates can be unpredictable, so you can’t decide before something happens whether or not Harambe would have harmed the boy. My first thought was that they could have tranquilized the ape, but it takes time for a tranquilizing dart to take effect (Azzedine Downes and Dr. Goodall, 2016, Question #2). The best way in my opinion to prevent this from happening again is for parents to watch their children with extreme care around the enclosures of animals! I don’t know how the child fell, and I’m not blaming his parent/guardian, but had the boy been watched more carefully, the zoo what not have had to make such an unfortunate decision.

  • Cecilia Murray

    I believe that an animals life is just as important as a human’s life. When the crowd noticed the little boy in Harambe’s cage they all started screaming. Mr. Maynard of the Cincinnati zoo where this incident took place said in an article for BBC news that the gorilla “wasn’t trying to eat the child, but he was disoriented and wanted to get the child to stay there.” It seemed as if the zoo was ready to kill and didn’t even think about a tranquilizer which would’ve been much more humane. With Harambe weighing 450lb it would’ve been very easy for him to hurt the child unintentionally. A concept called “Moral Expansion” it makes us feel responsible to protect the people of our country and our moral rights. (Conversation, Crimson, Bastian, Hornsey, Bain.) Animal rights organizations have been fighting for becoming a parent of animals such as a Chimpanzee. New Zealand has since granted people the ability to become a “legal Guardian” of these animals, because they believe that they deserve to be treated equally as humans do. There is still controversy with whether or not it was the right thing to do to Harambe. There is even a petition being signed to put the child’s parents at fault. 60,000 people have already signed this petition; showing that there are many people out there that believe animals should have the same rights as us.

  • camron

    Camron Johnson
    5th hour
    Dec 6 2016
    Is it morally justifiable to kill an endangered animal if a human life is at risk?

    First of all i believe every life is valuable, that being said i think we need to prioritize human life above other life for obvious reasons. looking at the situation in the Cincinnati Zoo, i don’t believe that letting the gorilla have the child in its grasp for any extended time would be a harmless act, i think that shooting the gorilla was the right choice at the time due to the so many potently harmful outcomes. I believe we should be able to defend our self’s against endangered animals in any circumstance, as long as a humans life is at great risk, we should be able to take action. This idea is supported by the “Self-Defense Versus the Endangered Species Act”.

  • zachery kilbarger

    It was May 28,2016 a young child fell into the exhibit of Western Lowland .The gorilla named Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo .The gorilla ended up grabbing the child and dragging him.The employee shot the gorilla, but he thought it would hurt or kill the child . This child could have been extremely injured by the gorilla or killed. There is no telling how the what the gorilla could have done .I personally think that the gorilla should have just been put to sleep or hurt to where it would have run from the child . Not shot and killed ,it’s not the gorillas fault that the child fell . They could have handled this a whole different way than by shooting the gorilla. Some people say the Endangered Species Act put humans at a high risk. The Western Lowland gorilla considered critically endangered due to variety of factors ,that includes deforestation and infertility. This is not the first time humans a have done this cruel act on animals. They have done it one’s before , with wolves, African painted dogs,Siberian tigers ,and polar bears .A species I considered endangered when is it dangerously close to extinction.The population has dropped 60 percent in the past 20-25 years .

    Zachary kilbarger
    5th hour
    December 6,2017
    Is It Morally Justifiable To Kill An Endangered Animal If Human Life Is At Risk ?

  • maddie swan

    If your life is in danger and it is you or the animal, I believe that all of us will admit we would choose our life over the animal. That species does not matter. If a mass murderer has something extraordinary about him/ her it will not affect that they are a murderer. And if someone shoots that person out of self-defense that is seen as fine but if it is about an endangered animal that is seen as cruel. In the article How do we weigh the moral value of human lives against animals’ ones, they talk about how chimps are equal to humans, and how much humans are expanding. It states that there are 7.4 billion humans and we are talking about endangered animals, therefore is a child’s life really more important than an endangered animal. (The Conversion 2016) In my opinion we are more important than any animal. Humans as a whole are so ahead in the world compared to all animals. You cannot compare two different species and ask who needs more protection. Gorillas ARE wild animals, you cannot argue with that. If they are born into captivity, if they have never been anything but loving, they are wild animals, and shouldn’t be treated like pets. They have instincts and so do we. If a gorilla was in the wild and did what happened to Harambe then we would never choose between the child’s life and the gorillas. The Zoo did the right thing by killing Harambe. Mr. Maynard, the director of the zoo, described how the gorilla dragged the toddler through the water by the ankle and how he did not want the child to leave. And how the screams made him irritable and unpredictable. (Harambe gorilla killing: Zoo defends shooting 2016) Think about it this was if it were you and the gorilla what outcome would you want, you dying or the gorilla dying and you being saved. Harambe yes was putting the child in an unsafe position but if you watch the video it looks to me that he was pulling the child away from the screaming and all the adjitation. I cannot say what he was trying to do for sure but he for sure was putting the child in a dangerous situation. (Harambe gorilla killing: Zoo defends shooting 2016)

  • Kenneth Peters

    I really cannot give a “for-against” argument with this issue. This is something to be examined on a case-by-case basis. When your (own) life is on the line, you would have to be an idiot to take the time to examine the morality of killing whatever it is trying to kill you, and would probably best serve mankind by removing yourself from the gene-pool. Whether or not your life was *actually* on the line can only be examined in hindsight, and by then its too late, for either of you.

    The killing of Harambe was a political statement, the child falling in was just a convenient excuse.
    #DoNowULife #MyCMSTArgs #NoJusticeNoPeace

  • Jason

    Personally, I believe that all and any life is precious, but in order to use lethal force on an endangered species in a zoo environment should be the last resort if the person whose life is at risk is unable to be rescued from the enclosure or the animal is not able to be tranquilized before an incident happens.

    In the Case of the murder of the Gorilla “Harambe”, the zoo made an “agonizing decision to use lethal force on the gorilla to save a 4-year-old child whose life was supposedly in danger, even though the child sustained no injuries. A statement from Primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall stated that “…it takes time for a tranquilizing dart to take effect. It was awful for the child, the parents, Harambe, the zoo, the keepers and the public. But when people come into contact with wild animals, life and death decisions sometimes have to be made.”

    In an article discussing the concept of ‘moral expansion’ titled “How do we weigh the moral value of human lives against animal ones?” states that “Many of us feel a deep moral responsibility not just to protect our fellow humans, but to guard the moral rights of entities the world over.”

  • sawyer kulman

    Is It Morally Justifiable to Kill an Endangered Animal if a Human Life Is at Risk?

    I guess you would have to describe the situation, because each situation and I would give my opinion depending on the variables. Is the animal that is threatening human life a carnivore, and are there other ways to deal with the situation.
    In the most recent occasion, “It was on May 28, of 2016, when a young child decided to get into a gorilla habitat. The boy was then approached by the gorilla, Harambe, which then people began to freak out, spooking Harambe who grabbed the child and dragged him through water which then the zoo decided they needed to shoot to kill in order to protect the boy’s life” (Bain, Bastian, Crimston, & Hornsey, 2016 pg 2). The gorilla “wasn’t trying to eat the child,” he said, “but he was disorientated and wanted to get the child to stay there.(BBC, page 1 paragraph 9)”. There was no need to take Harambes life, it was not necessary to take his life when you have tranquilizer darts at your disposal. That would not hurt Harambe and also save the boy’s life. We must remember that humans do not rule this planet we are simply inhabitants of it and we are slowing killing off other species. One day there will be no other species and humans will be the sole inhabitants of this planet simply because we have deleted the way of life. Almost every human now dies of old age or disease. We cannot value human life over animal lives, especially a species that is close to its demise.

  • Sammy Johnson, Jr.

    I don’t believe that Harambe should have been killed, because they don’t even truly know if Harambe was trying to hurt the child. Harambe could have been trying to protect the child for all we know. At most he should have gotten tranquilized if they were that focused on the child’s safety. Every life is created equal, so there should be question of importance. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Jodi DeMassa

    I think that they should’ve designed a better setup for the gorilla not to reach the kid. It should’ve been more protective to avoid that situation. I do not agree with trying to kill the animal, as animals have rights and that species is endangered. The gorilla had no intention of hurting the baby, it was trying to save it. Here’s a link on how to build a better protective environment. http://www.rwhardware.com/building-safer-zoos-balancing-visitor-convenience-with-comfort-of-animals/ #MyCMSTArgs

  • Gerald Peters

    Tanya Aravello, what if by trying to remove the child, we endanger both of their lives? Should we still take that chance? #MyCMSTArgs

  • Gerald Peters

    Haven’t humans caused enough damage to the world ecosystem? The value of one life, even that of a human child, should not be more valuable than that of an entire species. #MyCMSTArgs

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