Can a human man impregnate a Gorrila?
Kill the last of a kind to save a child?
It is a question where two different principles compete against each other. To do this, you need to ask yourself whether there is a difference between the liveability of a "common" and a "rare" animal. There are two types of arguments that can be used to support the rescue of an "endangered" animal versus a "non-endangered" animal. From a pragmatic point of view, the extinction of a species has a negative impact on us (worsens the delicate balance of nature, disrupts the food chain, some species can contribute to the development of medicines, etc.). The other factor to consider is just "aesthetics" - we won't see the animal again, animals are cute, etc. Leaving pragmatism aside as this would include arguments that are beyond the scope of this forum and are heavily animal dependent The discussion raises the question of whether aesthetics have more value than life. If one agrees that there was nothing wrong with killing the animal to save a child when it was not at risk, then the reason he most likely has doubts about the subject is that he is aesthetics (or pragmatism) regards as almost equivalent of value than human life.
Let us now consider some moral frameworks. Since saving an "endangered species" will be more beneficial (controversial) for the state, it is correct in state utilitarianism to save the animal. In ethical selfishness, zookeepers should do what is best for them, and I think that would probably be killing animals unless it is very costly to replace (opportunity cost matters). In utilitarianism, the decision would be based on what makes people most happy. However, as in Kantian utilitarianism, humans are not to be treated as a means; it could be argued that a child should be saved.
Overall, it means that it matters. The main point is that you are not comparing two lives, you are comparing an aesthetic (if there are no other significant advantages) with a life.
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