Over the holiday weekend, Americans were saddened and outraged to learn that a 17-year-old gorilla named Harambe had been fatally shot after a 4-year-old fell into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo.
It was upsetting national news, to be sure, but did we need comment from GOP nominee-apparent Donald Trump? Obviously yes.
Donald Trump defends zoo's shooting of Harambe the Gorilla: "I don't think they had a choice" https://t.co/3UJIPn9c8e
— TIME (@TIME) May 31, 2016
Great, so we know Trump’s stance on zoo emergencies. When he’s president, we can call up the red phone in the Oval Office should any hippo or jaguar go missing. I feel a hundred times safer now.
And yet, Trump’s perfectly reasonable reaction to the Cincinnati tragedy could have been sold a bit better. It could have been clickier. Like this:
— CNN (@CNN) May 31, 2016
Oh, hell yeah. Now that‘s what I call news. Though not everyone agreed.
— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) May 31, 2016
— katherine shelby (@katherineshelby) May 31, 2016
Freeze me in carbonite until 2017 pic.twitter.com/KNzmVs53Tu
— Matt Ford (@fordm) May 31, 2016
— QuinnGriffeyJr (@Quinton_Harris) May 31, 2016
Meanwhile, many questions remain unanswered.
would donald trump travel back in time to kill baby gorilla https://t.co/MGUZta8nO1
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) May 31, 2016
A better question is if Donald Trump has ever killed a gorilla for kicks, like on Safari.
— Joe Fedorowicz (@JoeFedorowicz) May 31, 2016
CNN should’ve asked the more important question. Would the gorilla have killed Donald Trump?
— Brett (@BLeez17) May 31, 2016
— Derek Straker (pls vote) (@Dr_Straker) May 31, 2016
"Would Donald Trump Gorilla Beyonce Sex Hot Free New Wealth Click Here To Exit Pizza Rat Of Thrones!?" https://t.co/o9tNEcPbQd
— No More Children's Crusades (@soulrebelJ) May 31, 2016
I want to know what Jeb would have done about the gorilla
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) May 31, 2016
Assuming he couldn’t make a deal with the gorilla, Trump definitely would have shot the animal. Easy to see why he considered this a “very tough call,” however—because once you shoot an endangered species in captivity, it’s more or less guaranteed to steal the news cycle away from you.
congrats everyone pic.twitter.com/jvGWiUJtR2
— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) May 31, 2016
In the end, however, Trump persevered and held onto the spotlight, thanks to a Yahoo News reporter with America’s best interests at heart.
Will we ever know Trump’s reasons for hypothetically shooting a gorilla? That, sadly, remains somewhat of a mystery. But I don’t think it’s too hard to guess.