Gorilla shot and killed at Cincinatti ZooKeith
Boy falls into gorilla enclosure
Zookeepers shot and killed a rare gorilla recently after a 3-year-old boy slipped into its enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, bringing an outcry over how the situation was handled.
We would do the same again, the zoo’s director said Monday.
Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard stands by the decision to kill 17-year-old silverback Harambe to save the childs life. The kid went under a rail, through wires and over a moat wall to get into the enclosure, said a spokesperson at the zoo. Video footage shot by a visitor shows Harambe dragging the child through the water as the clamour of the crowd grows stronger.
Zookeepers shot the 450-pound gorilla with a rifle, rather than tranquilizing him. The brief encounter sparked widespread Internet outrage over the decision to shoot Harambe and whether the child’s parents were to blame for their failure to look after him.
But those second-guessing the call “don’t understand silverback gorillas,” Maynard said in a news conference. And, they were not there when it was time to make the critical decision.
“That child’s life was in danger. People who question that don’t understand you can’t take a risk with a silverback gorilla — this is a huge strong dangerous creature,” he said. “Looking back, we’d make the same decision. The child is safe.”
The family was visiting the zoo on Saturday when the boy slipped away and entered the enclosure. Kimberley Ann Perkins O’Connor, who captured part of the incident on her phone, told CNN she overheard the boy joking to his mother about going into the water. Then, suddenly, there he was, being dragged by Harambe.
The unidentified boy was taken to a Children’s Hospital and released Saturday evening. The family thanked the zoo in a statement through a public relations firm:
Whats your opinion, is this parental neglect, should the gorilla have been tranquilized, should there be a public enquiry, let us know in the comments box.