Parents Of Boy Who Fell Into Gorilla Enclosure Could Face Prosecution
People were enraged yesterday after a four-year-old boy fell 15ft into a gorilla enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo in the US.
The boy was dragged through the water by a silverback gorilla. Though the gorilla appeared to be attempting to shelter the boy, nobody knows for sure, and eventually authorities decided they had no choice but to kill Harambe, a 180kg male gorilla.
The boy, who has remained unnamed, was released from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on Saturday night. His family released a statement yesterday saying that the boy was fine.
The reaction has been mixed, with some saying that the zoo should have found another way to deal with Harambe instead of killing him, whereas others lay the blame firmly at the feet of the boy’s parents.
Now, it has emerged that the that the parents of the four-year-old child could face criminal proceedings. Cincinnati police on Sunday said the parents had not been charged, but that charged could eventually be sought by the Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney. A petition has also been set up, with almost 90,000 people signing it to say that the parents of the boy should be held accountable for ‘negligence.’
The Gorilla was doing a better job watching the little boy than the Mom was. Give the gorilla custody of the child
— ㅤㅤ (@SadderDre) May 29, 2016
Plot Twist: we let the gorilla shoot the boys parents for being idiots and raise the boy as his own.
— MrLXC (@MrLXC) May 30, 2016
The boy’s mother, Michelle Gregg, wrote on Facebook:
“I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers today. What started off as a wonderful day turned into a scary one.
“For those of you that have seen the news or been on social media that was my son that fell in the gorilla exhibit at the zoo. God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him.”
People are also criticising the decision to kill Harambe, with many believing that he was trying to protect the boy.
I may be ignorant to gorilla psychology but, if the gorilla wanted to harm the boy, wouldn't he have done it? looked like protection to me
— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) May 29, 2016
The zoo’s Director, Thane Maynard, supported the dangerous animal response team for their decision to put down the gorilla. He said that tranquilizing the gorilla would not have knocked it out immediately, leaving the boy in danger.
“They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy’s life.”
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.