Living the wild life doesn't always mean fun and partying for Bud DeYoung and Carrie Cramer. They live together with over 400 animal residents, and work together, rescuing exotic animals, rehabilitating local wildlife and running a struggling small zoo in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. With no days off and no vacation, their relationship has more than its fair share of pressure. They sometimes butt heads, but mostly they share a deep passion for animals. My Life is a Zoo follows this couple at their DeYoung Family Zoo as they constantly work to keep up with the demands of their business, while tending to their huge and ever-growing wild family. The zoo is home to a diverse mix of exotic and regional animals, some of them rescued from distant parts of the world. Carrie moved in seven years ago and since then the zoo has grown dramatically. It now includes a rehab and rescue program with Bud and Carrie adopting between three and 10 orphaned animals every week.
Runtime: 60 minutes
My Life is a Zoo - Killing of Harambe - Netflix
On May 28, 2016, a three-year-old boy climbed into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla. Fearing for the boy's life, a zoo worker shot and killed Harambe. The incident was recorded on video and received broad international coverage and commentary, including controversy over the choice to kill Harambe. A number of primatologists and conservationists wrote later that the zoo had no other choice under the circumstances, and that it highlighted the danger of zoo animals in close proximity to humans and the need for better standards of care.
My Life is a Zoo - Reactions - Netflix
The incident was recorded in a dramatic video by an anonymous bystander and uploaded to YouTube, where it went viral sparking global publicity and controversy. Some observers said that it was unclear whether Harambe was likely to harm the child. Others called for the boy's parents or the zoo to be held accountable for the gorilla's death. Director Thane Maynard stated, “The child was being dragged around ... His head was banging on concrete. This was not a gentle thing. The child was at risk.” Police investigated possible criminal charges against the parents, while the parents defended the zoo's actions. The boy's mother also became the target of harassment on the Internet and social media. On June 6, 2016, Ohio prosecutor Joe Deters said that the mother would not face any charges of wrongdoing. The zoo was being investigated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which sets the standards for zoos, and the USDA. Several vigils took place to honor Harambe's death. As many as 3,400 people attended a candlelight vigil at Hyde Park, London. Anthony Seta, an animal rights activist, spoke at a vigil at Cincinnati Zoo, saying, “I'm not here to decide what was right and what was wrong, the fact is that a gorilla who just celebrated his birthday has been killed.” The incident received criticism from several high-profile celebrities, including Ricky Gervais, Brian May, and Piers Morgan. The incident sparked debate among biologists and primatologists on whether gorillas and other primates should be held in captivity at all. Primatologist Jane Goodall said that according to the video it seemed Harambe was trying to protect the child. Goodall later issued a longer explanation in an interview with the president of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, concluding that the zoo had no choice but to kill Harambe. She wrote, “It was awful for the child, the parents, Harambe, the zoo, the keepers and the public. But when people come into contact with wild animals, life and death decisions sometimes have to be made.” Goodall said that as long as humans and wild animals are kept in close proximity in zoos, there is no way to prevent accidents from happening, but she believed that zoos “with the highest standards of care” could play an important role. Zookeeper Jack Hanna strongly defended the zoo's actions as the “correct decision”, noting that a tranquilizer dart might have taken five or ten minutes to take effect and could have aggravated Harambe further. Primatologist Frans de Waal said he saw few options for the zoo: “A gorilla is so immensely strong that even with the best of intentions—and we are not sure that Harambe had those—the child's death was a probable outcome.”
My Life is a Zoo - References - Netflix