Harambe, a silverback gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, was shot and killed May 28, 2016, after a 4-year-old boy fell into his enclosure.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via Facebook

Sometimes I take a few days to tune out all things social media and news. As a person who's constantly "connected," a day or two off is a good mental-health break. With that said, I didn't get to find out who Harambe was until I was sitting at lunch Sunday afternoon.

My lunch date pointed to the TV at the bar and said, "Did you see they killed this gorilla because a kid fell into the pit?"


My first thought was, "Damn, his parents must have been distraught!"

And it was my second and third and fourth thoughts.

In all of my thoughts, I never once blamed Michelle Gregg for her kid falling into the pit. You know why? If you've never been a parent, you might not know this, but kids get into things all the time. And usually within a blink of an eye.


I remember one time when my son was about 4 years old and we were shopping at Macy's. I let go of his hand for a few seconds, turned around and he was gone. I panicked. Then I heard him scream. He had wandered away just a few feet and run into a dwarf. (Sidenote: After watching the Wizard of Oz, he had become afraid of little people.)

Kids wander away. Sometimes within seconds.

But what I've seen on social media are these people blaming the mother for what happened to her son. And the only explanation I can come up with for why they're doing this is that they think they're perfect.


Here's a news flash: There are no perfect parents in the world.

Sure, not everyone's kid falls into a gorilla pit. Some kids fall off bikes when their parents aren't looking. Some get caught smoking weed in their gazebo at the age of 16 (yes, that was my kid). Others are simply some of the biggest brats you'll ever come by, but of course their parents are willing to swear that their parenting methods are perfect.

So, sure, I'm sorry to hear that Harambe had to be killed. But I'll be damned if I'm going to believe that all of these people coming down on Gregg are perfect.


Now the cops are investigating Gregg and her husband for their role in the incident. If all it takes for parents to be investigated nowadays is for their child to walk away in a split second, cops across the world have a lot of investigating to do.

So yes, I'm not going to scream, "Justice for Harambe." I'm going to scream, "Justice for parents who get shamed because they're not perfect."