This is not going to be an essay type post going into full detail about Harambe's death and the issues surrounding it, honestly I have yet to form something that cohesive in my own mind - I like to consider all sides of the argument and all of the factors. Below are just my key thoughts on the issue, let me know if you agree/disagree with any of it and what your thoughts on the matter are.
First of all I'd like to say that this was not the parents' fault. Think about how many times a kid can lose their parent in a supermarket? Of course ideally a parent should always have both eyes on their kids but in reality it is not humanly possible. Kids are small and fast and they will slip away to explore, it happens and sadly we have to deal with it. The fault in this regard lies with the zoo, if a child can get into one of your pens then your security is awful. I know the zoo like to say kids can climb anything so its not our fault but come on, a child should not be able to get into an animal pen at a zoo.
Whilst it is sad that Harambe was killed and i absolutely wish that he could have been tranquillised, the reality is a decision had to be made about how to get the child out of the pen safely. Blame had to be put aside and actions had to be taken. Though I intrinsically value human and non-human life equally in reality there are other factors, not least the fact its natural for a species - no matter how evolved - to protect its own. This really would need a separate post so I'll leave it at that for now.
A crucial thought is that if humans didn't exploit animals as commodities for their own gain then Harambe would not have been an attraction in a zoo and this would not have happened. Yes you need to pay for animal care and rehabilitation for certain endangered animals but humanity should be compassionate enough to do it without exploitation.
We must bear in mind that Harambe was only trying to protect the child. Harambe was obviously frightened and confused but ultimately was just trying to keep the child safe. Harambe was not human and so could not be expected to fully understand the human side of the equation, he was doing his best.
Above all let's not sensationalise Harambe's death or harass the parents who were frightened for their son. Let's think about compassion, let's stop exploiting animals. And for Gods sake if you are going to insist on exploiting animals then at least build a zoo with enough sense that a four year old cannot get inside the pens.