Cincinnati, Ohio – The Cincinnati Zoo on Saturday killed a gorilla to save the life of a 4-year-old boy who fell into the animal’s enclosure, Fox News reported, citing the zoo’s officials.
According to the reports, the boy fell 10 to 12 feet into the gorilla exhibit moat. The zoo’s dangerous animal response unit reaction very quickly, and decided to put down the 400-pound-plus 17-year-old male gorilla name Harambe.
This was a horrifying incident.
The boy was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. According to media reports, his injuries are not life threatening. The gorilla dragged him for about 10 minutes. Zoo officials said he was alert when he was transported there.
According to Director Thane Maynard, the dangerous animal response unit made a right decision of killing the animal because the boy was in “a life-threatening situation.”
“They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy’s life,” Maynard said. “It could have been very bad.”
Maynard said that the boy wasn’t under attack, but they decided to shoot the gorilla because the animal was “extremely strong” in an agitated situation. Tranquilizing the gorilla would be too risky for the boy, he added.
Calling it “a very sad day” at the zoo, Maynard said for the first in the history of the zoo, the response team had an animal in such an emergency situation.