After a 2-year-old boy was tragically killed by an alligator at a Walt Disney resort in Orlando on Wednesday, many people expressed somewhat understandable frustration at the parents for not keeping their child away from the water. Gersh Kuntzman of the New York Daily News took this one step further, encouraging readers to praise the alligator for his predatory instinct to snatch up the boy and take his life.
In a piece lambasting authorities for killing animals in response to when they kill human beings, Kuntzman concluded with this untasteful line: "We're better than this, people. If you love nature, you have to love it when it does something natural."
Let me get this straight: Instead of mourning the loss of a 2-year-old child, we should applaud the alligator for snatching the child away from his parents and proceeding to brutally murder him? Yes, the alligator's response was natural, but actively cheering the alligator on as it dragged this little boy underwater is despicable.
Kuntzman spent the majority of the article criticizing human nature and glorifying animals that were euthanized for taking human lives. Using phrases like "murdered in a retaliatory strike" and "revenge-killed," Kuntzman put the onus on zookeepers and park staff for simply doing their jobs:
"We stole an animal from his natural habitat, put him on display for our pleasure, failed to secure the perimeter, and then killed the animal for doing pretty much what we paid the zoo admission fee to see him do."
If someone starts murdering people, it's the police's responsibility to put the killer down, no? Similarly, park authorities have a responsibility to prevent further loss of human life by doing what needs to be done to animals who have killed humans.
I send my condolences to the family who must be dealing with unbelievable grief and guilt at this moment, and can't believe someone would simultaneously commend their son's killer, animal or otherwise.