Are you ok?

Hey Parents of the little boy in the Gorilla enclosure…

I have something I want to say to you.


In the past few days I have read some pretty weird shit about you and your family…

Some comments aimed at you have left me thinking… “What actual fucking planet are we on?”

People never cease to amaze me, before they have even caught their breath, grieved for the beautiful gorilla, felt relief at the boy’s safety, they narrow their eyes and search for the most important thing…

Someone to blame..

I went to the Zoo in Melbourne a few weeks ago… I hated every second of it. But fuck who am I to complain, my kid didn’t escape me, fall into a gorilla enclosure and get dragged around like a rag doll, I also didn’t have to come home to comments like “they should have shot the boy” or “I hope the neglectful parents lose custody of their children over this”
So I think the Zoo let me off pretty lightly.

You see, my son Arlo is 4 as well. He was out of my sight about 5 times on that day, I have another kid, a niece and nephew that (kill me) I like to look at occasionally and twin toddlers who basically rule my every moment. So when Arlo sees that I’m busy, he takes it as his opportunity to fuck as far off as he possibly can before he gets caught and dragged back to the pack.

Not once on that day did it ever occur to me that I might turn around and see him in a lion’s mouth or getting dragged through a Gorilla’s swamp, while I know that we are never completely safe from external circumstances, I like to think that a zoo is somewhere that I can tie up my 7 year old’s shoe lace without condemning my 4 year old to death.

But what I really wanted to say to you is not that “I understand”, not that “we have all been there”, not that “it actually could have happened to anyone” because it could have… But what I really want to say to you is… Are you ok? Because I saw the video footage yesterday and I must say, I have barely recovered and that isn’t even my child.

I want to ask you if you have a support network? I don’t doubt that post traumatic stress syndrome could rear its unwanted head here and I want you to know that right now, you need a team. A #queenteam of support to look after you and your boy. Doctors and counsellors and family and friends and wine because you have been through a horrific ordeal and you need to heal.

Not forgetting that nothing beats a good dose of guilt to interfere with the process of moving on.

And to hear your fellow humans shout vile abuse to you over the loss of a gorilla is heart wrenching.

Yes we lost an endangered animal and yes it kills me to see dolphins and Elephants and Lions killed for sport or ivory or any other fickle reason but this? This is completely different.

From one mum to another let me leave this by saying, I love Gorillas and understand the importance in keeping them protected and the whole thing is such a great tragedy, but I would have pulled that trigger myself if it would get my son back into my arms.

Love to you. 💗


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  1. Profile photo of Carmel
    Carmel 9 months ago

    I had been deliberately avoiding this story as I didn’t want to get caught up in all the nastiness. After reading your blog today though I watched the video footage. It was bloody terrifying. I would have killed the gorilla with my bare hands if need be. I realise it is an endangered animal brought into an environment that isn’t optimal and I’m sorry he had to die but they did it humanely and there was no choice.

  2. Profile photo of T
    T 9 months ago


  3. Profile photo of Queen Lou Lou
    Queen Lou Lou 9 months ago

    I have seen some horrible meme’s
    ‘I got killed because a bitch couldn’t watch her kid’ etc what the actual fuck?! Are we so blinded by the pictures of a beautiful gorilla (that I would have rather was still doing gorilla shit if circumstances had been permitting) that we can’t get it into perspective? My littlest ran off at the weekend, she’s like an actual ninja and I was so scared. Thank goodness she was ok. Luckily she didn’t leave the building which would have been possible. Who knows what could have happened to her. This shit happens when you’re a parent. I’m with you Constance, I would have quite happily shot that gorilla to ensure my baby came home in one peice with not a single doubt in my mind. X

  4. Profile photo of Savannah
    Savannah 9 months ago

    Thank you for this. I simply cannot imagine going through this. So much judgment in all of this, it hurts me. I’ll be on the #queenteam absolutely. Whatever happened to bringing a casserole or something helpful like a load of laundry during a tragedy? Why do we have to go to bashing other queens!?

  5. Profile photo of Lynn
    Lynn 9 months ago

    I have seen so many nasty posts about this on social media. It was a lose/lose situation right from the get go! Some say Harambe was trying to protect the child and that may have been the case. That being said he was a 400 lb silverback. 6 times larger than the kid. Hard to be “gentle” I would think even when trying. The crowds screaming most certainly did not help and I believe all options were tried before Harambe was put to death. Yes it’s sad. Let’s play “what if”. What if the boy had been seriously hurt or killed? Then people would have pointed their nasty comments at the zoo.

  6. Profile photo of HandleWithCoffee
    HandleWithCoffee 9 months ago

    Thanks for this. Really, the only kind response I’ve read. As opposed to the fake nice ones that say, “we’ve all made mistakes.” The judgy, “glad-I’m-not-you” remarks that offer forgiveness (as if the doler outer is divine) for sins not actually committed.

    She didn’t make a mistake. She made a baby, that then became a four-year-old. Have you been around a four-year old, lately, much, ever? A well-raised one is curious, active, loves animals, probably knows some letters. But not enough to read the sign that says “Please Don’t Visit The Gorilla.”

    I dunno, when I go to the zoo, I don’t see notices that say, keep your child in physical custody at all times because the enclosures aren’t child-proof. I might skip the zoo if I did. Like how I don’t let my kids play on the freeway.

    She went to the zoo, kid slipped away, another mom even tried to nab him before he squirted into danger. There is no negligence here. Bad parents aren’t taking their kids to the zoo for a day of running around and seeing the cool animals.

    We slam parents for raising coddled, entitled children who can’t attend college without parents filling out forms and doing their laundry, yet insist that a good parent has their kid within reach every minute. Not just sight, REACH. Someone posted that leashes should be mandatory. What? How about we make it a rule that people are kind and helpful.

    Helpful as in trying to nab the little dude before he squirted into danger, like some other mom did. Instead, we think judging, shaming, and outright crucifying is what is required of us as villagers.

    I was walking around my neighborhood recently and saw a toddler and a baby exiting the driveway and heading for the street, where cars drive way too fast to see humans under two feet tall. “Hiya, where’s your mommy?”

    It kinda looked like the toddler was trying to maybe keep the baby from crawling into the road. I dunno. I thought, “Oh, God, please don’t let a car come right now” and “How do I not scare these kids” and “The mom is gonna have an ugly cry panic gratitude meltdown when she finds them out here.”

    Wasn’t the mom. It was a dad, and it seemed like maybe they just got out an unlocked door when he was peeing or something. He emerged, scooped them up, glared at me, and headed inside.

    “Uh, you’re welcome?”

    He is rightfully afraid of the Shamer Brigade of parents who will get 150,000 signatures on a public petition to accuse people of the crime of taking a kid to the zoo.

    So yes, I agree with you, and hope that that mom has a crew and posse and sisterhood to back her up. But for the grace of god (and quick thinking zookeepers with guns) go the rest of us. Poor mama.

  7. Profile photo of Raymond Baxter
    Raymond Baxter 9 months ago

    Yes! This. Totally this. Too many damn perfect parents out there.

  8. Profile photo of Terry
    Terry 9 months ago

    <3 <3 <3 sanity! 🙂

  9. Profile photo of Clare
    Clare 9 months ago

    I tried to something similar on my fb page the other day, I was sick of everyone being judge, jury & executioner, the guilt and stress you would feel as the child’s mother is the sort of thing that can push someone who’s already stressed completely per the edge, she really does it need the whole world judgment!
    i have 3 children and my husband works abroad, am I to never go anywhere because I can’t constantly see every one of them at any given second?
    Why was the kid able to get his head through the bars? There are regulations about gaps in bars for this very reason, why has no one mentioned this?!
    I too hope she is ok and it doesn’t put her off going out wth her children, as much as I dislike zoo’s, she should be congratulated that she was out with her children and not letting them sit at home plugged into the wall like 80% of today’s youth, let’s leave this terrible mess in the hands of the people who should be questioning why they didn’t create a safe environment for its visitors!

  10. Profile photo of Minimirry
    Minimirry 9 months ago

    Thank you for this reassurance of sanity!

    There are actually 2 different videos circulating around about this incident, and in one of them, the part where the gorilla drags the boy through the water, has been cut out! Talk about media manipulation!

    I’m also sorry for the gorilla, but the people writing mean comments obviously have NO KIDS, otherwise they would have a totally different perspective.

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