A Senseless Death

harambe_2897586aThe whole world is arguing on social media over the fate of Harambe the gorilla who was shot and killed when a four year old boy climbed into the gorilla enclosure and fell into the mote at the Cincinnati zoo this past weekend.

Many are arguing that the shooting of the 450 lb. captive gorilla was a drastic response, that Harambe’s death could have been avoided, and the situation resolved without killing the animal.

I will admit, when the story first broke I felt the same way. I was angry that the zoo had chosen to kill the gorilla rather than  opt to tranquilize it in order to rescue the child. I was angry that yet again, a parent’s negligence in looking after their child had caused the death of an innocent animal.

Then I watched the full video, and I realized, that I was wrong, zoo officials could have made no other choice. When faced with the decision to save a child’s life or shoot an animal, the life of a child, especially one so young will win out every time. There is no “Life of Pi” scenario where a four year old is involved.

I was wrong because I had failed to take all aspects of the situation into consideration. I should know better, I understand that animals do not think or respond to things the same way as humans do. However, as much as I love gorillas,  I fully admit I know nothing about them other than the obvious, they are large powerful animals that could rip a man apart if they chose to do so, and you probably shouldn’t test the theory.

While I might not know a thing about gorillas, I do know a thing or two about aggression in caged animals, and I can completely understand how an aggressive gorilla protecting it’s territory can put a life in danger When you watch the raw footage with full audio and hear the mother yelling, the child wailing, and the crowd screaming you realize that all the elements are in place for this situation to go very, very bad, very, very quickly.

Although some people may have interpreted the gorilla’s behavior as protective of the child, what they fail to take into consideration is the gorilla’s strength. Even if Harambe was attempting to protect the child in some way, (and I’d really like to believe that was the case) he could easily have killed the child while dragging him along behind. The only option in order to save the child, was to shoot the gorilla. I don’t like it, but facts are facts.

Many people are saying they should have tranquilized Harambe, but those people clearly don’t understand how a tranquilizer dart works, or they would understand why that wasn’t an option, and you and I would be discussing something else right now. A tranquilizer dart delivers an intramuscular injection dosage of tranquilizer when it hits it’s target. Intramuscular injections are not immediately effective as the drug must be absorbed into the blood stream in order to have an effect, and this takes time. The impact of a tranquilizer dart carrying a payload large enough to drop a 450 lb. gorilla is not light. Upon impact the animal will become more agitated and erratic in it’s behavior, thus putting the child in further danger.

While I dislike zoos immensely, the zoo is not totally to blame for Harambe’s death. They are charged with keeping zoo visitors and animals safe, and they failed at both jobs, but the blame is not theirs alone. The child’s parents failed as well. They failed to responsibly supervise their child, and their negligence almost caused his death.

How does a four year old stumble into a gorilla enclosure while visiting the zoo? Is it really that strange to expect that someone might actually be watching him, might stop him from climbing over a fence and falling into a pit full of wild animals? I used to think it was just common sense, but I guess sense isn’t that common anymore.

Harambe’s death was senseless, a thing that could have been avoided if only….if only that mother had have been watching her child…if only…

R.I.P Harambe, I am sorry humans failed you.

Until next time remember,



The Day I Stumbled Upon “Dog Beach”

Sometimes my husband and I go for drives in the countryside on weekends just to get away from the rat race for a while. Most times we take along a dog, or two, or three, unless of course the weather, as it was today, is too humid.

We decided to head out to Wasaga Beach, Ontario, and once there I decided to go for a walk on the beach with my camera. We walked for a while me snapping pictures as I went. First we happened upon this;


Don’t know who left this behind but it was a pretty sweet sand sculpture.

Then a little further down the beach, I was greeted by this sign;


This sign actually made my day!

I was actually excited about a sign! Why? Because I have been looking for a legal place to take my dogs swimming for years, and here it was! Just beyond this fence was Dog Beach! Of course you know I had to walk the full length of dog beach…just because. This is what I saw;

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So what did I learn this weekend? There IS a place I can take my dogs swimming, and I am totally taking my big guy there next weekend! But more than that, families are getting outdoors with their dogs…and they are loving it!

If you live in Ontario and would like to take your dog swimming at Dog Beach, pack the car and head up to Wasaga Beach Area 3. (Use the 22nd street entrance)

If you were on the beach when I strolled by with my camera, the pictures I took of your dog can be found here: My Day at Dog Beach feel free to download any pics you find of your dog.

Until Next Time Remember

Your Pet is Your Responsibility!



Finding the Pets Left Behind…

As you know, we have been monitoring the situation in Fort McMurray. Today I have happy news! Stories of animals caught in the fire zone who have been rescued and reunited with their families! With each animal that is found and reunited comes a sense of hope for other pet owners still waiting to hear news of their pets.

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Along with the happy stories of reunions there are many posts of people still searching for their pets. Rescuers on the ground are doing a wonderful job, but rescuing these pets left behind is a monumental task. They are treating these pets with kid gloves, any that are safe where they are and pose difficulty in shipping are being cared for in place until proper climate controlled transport becomes available.

Below are pet owners still searching for their pets. If you are on the ground in Fort McMurray working with these animals and recognize any of them please get in touch with their owners…

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For a more comprehensive list of lost and found animals go to the Fort Mac Fire – Pet Rescue group on Facebook. You’ll have to request to join, but it is a great place to start if you are looking for a pet lost during the evacuation of Fort McMurray.

We will continue to update as often as we can.

Until Next Time Remember,




Rescuing the Abandoned Animals of Fort McMurray

The eyes of the world are focused on Fort McMurray, Alberta as wildfire still rages across the province consuming everything in its path. With over 88,000 people displaced by the fire we’ve heard many stories of heroism in the face of danger. Canadians are banding together to help the victims of the fire expecting nothing in return. But there are other victims of the fire who have gone virtually unnoticed, they are the forgotten victims of every disaster, I am talking about the animals of Fort McMurray. Those who through no fault of their own got left behind during the mandatory evacuation of the city.

I know many people are wondering why so many people fled leaving their beloved family pets behind. Some have even said that the people of Fort McMurray don’t care about their pets. Nothing could be further from the truth. Evacuation orders came down so quickly that many people were caught off guard.


16 year old Jada Polem rides her Quarter horse Mya out of Fort McMurray in order to save her.

One woman describes being caught downtown away from her home when ordered to evacuate. By the time she got back to her neighborhood it had been cordoned off and police were letting no one enter the area. She was told to leave despite the fact that her dogs were home alone and she wanted to get them out. Another woman managed to load her family and three dogs into her vehicle but was forced to abandon her pet pig because there was no room to transport him out of the hot zone. Others were forced to leave their pets behind because they were told emergency shelters would not admit animals. 16 year old Jada Polem rode her horse Mya out of the hot zone in order to save her, but sadly for many taking pets with them was not an option they were given.

Whatever the reason people were forced to abandon their pets, they did not do so willingly as is evidenced by the number of requests for rescue received by the small but determined group of people who set up a Facebook page to help get animals out of the hot zone. The local Fort McMurray SPCA spent last weekend rescuing pets…in secret. Why the secrecy? For reasons we have yet to find an explanation for the group was given the go ahead to enter the hot zone but was banned from publicizing their rescue efforts for 96 hours.

We could tell you all the stories of heroic rescues, but you can find those on your own. What we would rather discuss today is the fact that every time there is a disaster, the animals are overlooked. In times of emergency pets are viewed as insignificant baggage by government run rescue agencies. The lives of our pets are deemed unworthy of saving.

While I understand the rush to save human lives, I fail to understand how animals are deemed unimportant, and viewed as possessions that don’t matter. Quite frankly, if I am ever in a situation such as this my animals will not get left behind. I will find a way to get to them and get them out of harms way. After all they are my family.


An RCMP officer captures wayward pet pig “Marshall” who got left behind during evacuation of Fort McMurray.

But Canadians are not content to leave the animals of Fort McMurray to fate. Local kennels have stepped up to take in animals free of charge and many people are opening their homes to take in those who did not leave their animals behind. “Rogue” groups of rescuers are breaking into homes to get animals to safety at the request of fire victims. The woman I mentioned earlier has been reunited with the dogs she was forced to leave behind, and the pet pig who wouldn’t fit into the car has been found and rescued thanks to a cop with a watermelon.

Although there are many family pets still trapped in the hot zone, efforts are under way to save as many as possible. Whatever happens, one thing is clear, this country seriously needs to review their policy on family pets and disaster protocol. No living thing should get left behind when an evacuation is called for.

For anyone reading this who still has pets in the hot zone, the Facebook group set up to co-ordinate pet rescue can be found here. It is a closed group so you’ll have to request to join. The Fort McMurray SPCA can be reached through this Facebook page, and have a form to fill out if you are requesting rescue for your animals.

We here at Everything Worth Knowing will continue to monitor the situation as best we can. We ask one last thing of our readers…if you’re the praying type, please pray to whatever God or Goddess you worship for the safety of the animals of Fort McMurray.

Those wishing to donate to the animal rescue efforts can start here. We will provide more links as we find them.

Until Next Time Remember,