Visitors at an American zoo are leaving flowers at a gorilla statue one day after security officers killed a gorilla that grabbed a boy who fell into the exhibit.
Panicked zoo visitors were watching helplessly and shouted ‘Stay calm” while one woman yelled ”Mommy loves you” as a 400lb gorilla loomed over a four-year-old boy who had fallen into a shallow moat at Cincinnati Zoo.
The boy sat still in the water, looking up at the gorilla as the animal touched the child’s hand. At one point it looked like the gorilla was helping the child stand up.
Two witnesses said they thought the Gorilla was trying to protect the boy at first before getting spooked by onlookers. The animal then picked up the child and dragged him to another moat and dragged him to another spot inside the exhibit.
The Zoo began to fear for the life of the child and this stage and the Zoo’s dangerous-animal response team shot and killed the 17-year old ape, named Harambe.
The child has not been named but was rushed to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where he is expected to recover. Hospital officials have said they will not be releasing any details about him.
Zoo Director Thane Maynard said the gorilla did not appear to be attacking the child but was an ”extremely strong” animal in an agitated situation. He said tranquilizing the Gorilla may not have not knocked it out immediately, which could have left the boy in danger.
“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.”
Zoo officials said the four-year-old climbed through a barrier at the Gorilla World exhibit and fell 10ft into the moat. He was in there for ten minutes before being pulled back to safety.
Video Source: Hollywood Life