A 4-year-old boy crawled through a barrier at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and into a gorilla enclosure, where he was picked up by a 400-pound, 17-year-old male gorilla. The child fell nearly 10 to 12 feet into the moat and was dragged around the haunt for 10 minutes. This video shows the boy sitting in front of the gorilla. You can hear the terrified people, including the boy’s mother, screaming in the background.
According to Thane Maynard, the zoo director, the child was in a “life-threatening situation” and the only action that could be taken was to shoot the 400 pounds (181 kg) gorilla. Harambe, the male gorilla did not attack the child but kept dragging him. The director said quite Harambe wouldn’t have immediately sedated him but only engendered the child’s life even more.
A Cincinnati Zoo employee shot the gorilla when the child was in between his legs, and zoo employees then unlocked the gate and two firefighters quickly retrieved the child. Once the child was in a safe area, he was given a full shock assessment, and then transported to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, District Fire Chief Marc Monahan said. The hospital is not releasing details on his condition, but police said the boy’s injuries were non-life-threatening.
Zoo director Thane Maynard told, “The officials made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy’s life. It could have been very bad.We are all devastated that this tragic accident resulted in the death of a critically-endangered gorilla. This is a huge loss for the zoo family and the gorilla population worldwide.”
For the zoo, it was “a very sad day” for the animal was an endangered species, and the zoo had never been a witness to such a shocking incident before.
The authorities believe that the child may have climbed through a railing and fell into the moat. He was taken to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and is believed to be recuperating from the horrific incident. While we are glad that the toddler is safe, we hope that you’re in a better place, Harambe.