A toddler fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo on Saturday. The incident ended with the 4-year-old boy being rescued, and the 400-pound animal being shot dead.
The boy fell 12-feet into the gorilla habitat on Saturday afternoon after crawling through a barrier. Then, the unthinkable happened. A 17-year-old male gorilla picked up the child and carried him into the moat. The primate named Harambe dragged the boy around the enclosure for about 10 minutes before zoo personnel shot and killed the endangered animal.
Photo via Cincinnati Zoo
“It’s a sad day all around,” the zoo’s president, Thane Maynard said. “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.”
The boy was taken to a local hospital where he was in serious condition, but fortunately his injuries are not life-threatening.
Many are asking why the zoo’s Dangerous Animal Response Team didn’t shoot the gorilla with tranquilizer darts instead. Apparently those things take a few minutes to work, and often upset animals. No one wanted to see a large, angry gorilla who had hold of a young boy.
The child is very lucky that he escaped with his life.