Zoo Whisperers

The Letter

Let’s get more “animal whisperers” at zoos. Sea World does it.

Viral animal videos are all about positive relations between animals and humans. The bossy, heavy-fisted, one-way relationships of the Builders’ generation is gone and done. They imprisoned animals and considered it cute. They imprisoned their children, the Baby Boomers, and called it “parenting”. Let’s move past their way of seeing the world. Let’s kindly and openly suggest—not through some stupid, heavy-handed, hare-brained law—let’s suggest that it’s a matter of business smarts and marketable survival—that zoos seriously consider putting “animal whisperers” in with all the animals.

No animal whisperer, no animal. I think it would thrive as a business model for zoos. And, I think the animal cruelty question, as well as the animal danger question, would both be over and done with.

As for Harambe… Darnit! No one wanted that gorilla to die. Everyone should examine his own ways. The police should sit down that child and say, “You didn’t follow the rules. Now, the gorilla you liked is dead.” And, the parents should say to the police, “Thank you for teaching my child what I somehow couldn’t, thank you for catching my child when I somehow didn’t, and thank you for not pressing charges against any of us, which you somehow could.”

The zoo should probably consider 4-year-old-proofing the place. That’s their call. That’s the police’s call. And, that’s the parents’ call. No further incidents, no further problems.

Darnit, no one wanted Harambe to die. Let’s all learn and love. And, let that be the end of it.

I’m a bit of an animal whisperer myself. I converse with cats. I quickly gain trust of dogs. I don’t just love them; I understand them. And, with no hatred of zoos, I don’t like going to them. I want to pet the animals just like that little boy. I don’t like to see animals in cages. I don’t like them only in the wild. I like them voluntarily in the home—like the video of the guy whose macaw flies down the road with him, along side his car—or Christian the lion who knew to come back and visit. I have a fundamentally different view of animals than people who enjoy the zoo. They love animals, but I don’t think zoo-lovers really understand the whispering of animals.

Harambe probably thought he was “protecting” the kid from all the crazy screaming coming from the non-animal-whispering crowd on the other side of the fence.

That crowd needed to be taught how to become animal-whisperers.

But, they weren’t at the time. We humans made a mistake. So, an innocent gorilla had to die. Can we stop blaming each other and simply learn from Harambe’s sacrifice? Understanding animals might help us understand each other.