Punish the zoo? the animals? the mother? noone?

Sad story here, with a few topics causing some controversy in America on this election night. In the next days it might make for a decent discussion topic in language classes. It is a gruesome topic – a young boy’s parents watched their son be killed by wild dogs.

The boy’s mother had picked him up and put him on top of a railing at the edge of a viewing deck late Sunday morning when he lost his balance and fell, said Barbara Baker, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. There was a safety net below the railing, but it failed to catch him and the boy dropped more than 10 feet into the enclosure, she said. The child did not die from the fall. The child was mauled by the dogs.

Blame the mom: According to the article, the railing was four foot high and sloped inward so that anyone perching on it would likely fall back to the observation deck. The mother had to actively defeat safety mechanisms. Personally, I think she should face child endangerment charges.

Blame everyone nearby: How no one jumped in is beyond me. I would have been right behind my son. Or anyone’s son. I couldn’t live with myself if I was a bystander and just stood there as the kid fell in and got mauled. Such a tragic incident. The kid’s father wasn’t right there but the mother and the other people around didn’t want to help the kid?

Blame the zoo (and the mother): I’m just saying that the zoo’s precautions failed. They didn’t fail because someone went to extraordinary, unforeseeable means to avoid them. They did something stupid. Again I’m just saying that in my opinion, the zoo will be found to have had a share In the liability. They will settle and build a better barrier.

Defend the zoo: In my mind, you enter a zoo knowing there are dangerous animals there. If somebody wants to vault over an enclosure, so it be the zoo’s right to stop them? If somebody wants to dangle a child over an open area surrounded by wild dogs, should the zoo be the one preventing that? My take is the same in these matters. Unless a structural failure caused the problem or an animal got wild into an unenclosed area and tore somebody to shreds, the zoo took reasonable precautions. Why should the zoo be on the hook because somebody decided to dangle their child? Why should the zoo be held liable for somebody violated the safety measures? I hate when everyone becomes at fault when really there’s just one person at fault – the parent.

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