Are you ok?

June 1, 2016

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.   Pre-order my book here!

Constance Hall

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Constance Hall

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