The Cincinnati and Botanical Garden is still mourning the death of a 17-year-old gorilla, which was shot dead on Saturday when a boy fell into the gorilla enclosure. The zoo claimed that the move was taken to save the boy’s life.
The 400-pound lowland gorilla, Harambe was killed by the zoo’s dangerous animal response team 10 minutes after the boy accidentally fell into the enclosure. The 4-year-old boy was immediately admitted to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center with serious injuries. However, the injuries were not life threatening.
Apparently, the boy climbed through a railing and fell into the moat of the enclosure. The president of the zoo Thane Maynard informed that the boy crawled through a barrier and fell into the moat of the gorilla enclosure, which was estimated around 10 to 12 feet below.
The Cincinnati Fire Department reported that some of the witnesses said that the boy was “violently” dragged and thrown by the gorilla, as stated by Cincinnati.com. Maynard also said that the gorilla grabbed the boy and dragged him around. The fire officials informed that the boy was in between the gorilla’s legs when it was shot.
According to WLWT, two other female gorillas were in the enclosure but they were called out. However, Harambe refused to move and stayed in the yard. The gorilla was not tranquilized as when the animal is agitated, tranquilizers do not work immediately, said Maynard. He also informed that this is the first time in the zoo that an animal has been killed in this manner.
Maynard stated, “It’s a sad day all around. They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy’s life. It could have been very bad.”
Meanwhile, the critics are angered by the zoo’s action. They believe that the death of the gorilla was unnecessary, as per CNN. Some blamed the boy’s mother for her irresponsibility. Some even suggested that there should be legal action against the boy’s parents. Others criticized the zoo authorities for the move. An online petition demanding justice has been signed by more than 8,000 people within 24 hours.
A few months back in a similar incident a woman jumped over the safety fence of a tiger enclosure in Toronto Zoo. She risked her limbs and life just to get her hat back.