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Media roasted for asking if Donald Trump would have killed gorilla



Miles Klee

Internet Culture

Posted on May 31, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 4:48 pm CDT

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.

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:

Oh, hell yeah. Now that‘s what I call news. Though not everyone agreed.

Meanwhile, many questions remain unanswered.

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.

In the end, however, Trump persevered and held onto the spotlight, thanks to a Yahoo News reporter with America’s best interests at heart. 

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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.

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*First Published: May 31, 2016, 1:45 pm CDT