Gorilla (Controversially) Killed After Boy Slips Into Zoo Enclosure
A family trip to the zoo has turned into a national debate after a child wound up in the gorilla enclosure on Saturday, leading to the animal's death.
It's an incident that has people up in arms over how the situation played out and how the Cincinnati Zoo elected to deal with the matter. According to WLWT:
A 3-year-old boy fell into the gorilla enclosure after climbing over a 3-foot barrier and falling around 15 feet into a moat which surrounds the gorilla’s habitat. Video shows Harambe, a 17-year-old male lowland gorilla, drag the child through the water. Harambe was eventually shot dead by zoo employees.
The child went to the hospital, but was released. A witness says Harambe "was trying to protect that child. I don't feel like he wanted to harm him. He was in there for 10 minutes. So you'd think if he did want to, that would've already happened."
Video of the incident shows Harambe handling the child:
The zoo continues to say it did the right thing. The zoo also released a statement on Facebook:
There's been an outpouring of support for Harambe.
A change.org petition has been created for people who want the child's parents to be prosecuted for Harambe's death. More than 300,000 have signed it to date.
The mother of the child who fell into the enclosure has been identified as Michelle Gregg. She had written a post after the incident on Facebook, but took it down after getting negative feedback. She had written, in part, "As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids. Accidents happen but I am thankful that the right people were in the right place today."
You can see Harambe shortly after his arrival at the zoo in 2015 to learn more about him.