Gorilla Dead, Kid Alive- Whose Fault?


No one seems to even think about the legal issues here. Kid manages to climb through some type of barrier and then falls or jumps into the gorilla enclosure.

All zoos have regulations re the types/sizes etc. of the barriers which keep people out of the enclosures. For example in San Francisco when young men may have purposely taunted a tiger in a zoo and were purportedly drunk at the time, and were  harmed by the tiger after it managed to jump out of the enclosure– investigation indicated one of the walls was likely not high enough because the animal could possibly jump out, and it did not meet federal regulations. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2011/02/tiger-maul-teens-san-francisco-zoo-provoked-report.html

In the gorilla zoo case, obviously the parent is to blame in part, because the parent failed to control the kid. There is no excuse for that part—and we bet the kid was one of the ones that never sits still…then, the zoo configuration barriers would have to be examined for sufficiency against the regulations.

Although it was a sad choice to have to kill the gorilla, the parents of that kid that jumped or fell into the enclosure will have to live with the facts for the rest of their lives.  Rather than to accept blame for not watching her own kid, the mother instead tried to use “God” as the reason the child was not killed.

Even if the parents were to file a lawsuit because the kid was able to access the enclosure, it depends on what negligence laws apply in that state. Of course if there was a federal regulation that was not met in the design of the enclosure then the zoo would likely be partially liable. Since the kid was able to either scale some wall or go underneath or over some partition, the planning of the enclosure did not apparently foresee that anyone would be scaling or going under the barriers.

Even if God was the reason her kid was not killed, we would assume that the kid being traumatized by falling into the enclosure would be enough damage to the kid to cause serious difficulty for him in the future. We are grateful that the kid was not our kid because then everyone would be blaming us for what happened. Instead, they can blame the parent or parents of that kid. We recommend in the future, that the parents keep this kid on a leash.