Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill joined the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz for his weekly interview on Monday, calling the unfortunate event at the Cincinnati Zoo “devastating, but at the end of the day the Cincinnati Zoo made the right decision.”
“There’s no question in my mind they made the correct decision,” Magill said. “That gorilla never wanted to hurt that kid. He never did. But unfortunately he was so overwhelmed by the kid crying, you’ve got the public screaming and trying to distract the gorilla. What it did was it just further agitated the gorilla and by doing so it made it more dangerous. See this gorilla, though he never wanted to hurt that kid, you saw when he moved from one area to the next how he dragged that kid like a wet rag. The bottom line is that kid could’ve hit his head against the concrete, against the rock or anything — one-split second the strength of that gorilla could’ve killed that kid. So you have to make a very quick decision. That situation was getting worse — the gorilla was becoming further agitated and though he never wanted to hurt that kid he could unintentionally kill him.”
Why no tranquilizer dart?
“I have been part of a team that’s tranquilized gorillas. As soon as you hit him with that dart they become even further agitated. They have what’s called displaced aggression. If you hit a gorilla with a dart, if he’s next to a wall he punches the wall, he punches the ground — it’s a further agitation of the situation and the dart drug does not take effect right away… so all you’d be doing is escalating the problem if you try to shoot him with the tranquilizer dart.
“If we don’t take care of the humans, the humans won’t be able to take care of the animals.”
Magill says although Zoo Miami has never had to deal with a situation like this they’re going to reevaluate their safety precautions.