Gorilla killed at Cincinnati zoo had been 'protecting' fallen child (Video)
Gorilla killed at Cincinnati zoo had been 'protecting' fallen child (Video)

Gorilla killed at Cincinnati zoo had been “protecting” fallen child (Video)

The Cincinnati Zoo’s director on Monday defended the decision to kill a gorilla to protect a 4-year-old boy who entered its exhibit, noting it’s easy to second-guess after the child was recovered safely.

A special zoo response team killed the animal after concluding the 4-year-old boy’s life was in danger.

Anthony Seta, a prominent animal rights activist, called the gorilla’s death “a senseless tragedy,” and said the Monday afternoon gathering is meant as a memorial to Harambe.

There has been a strong outpouring on social media of people upset the gorilla was killed Saturday. A Facebook page called “Justice for Harambe” created Saturday night has drawn wide attention.

Michelle Gregg, the mother of the 4-year-old child who fell struck back at social-media critics and animal-rights activists who have called her a bad parent.

“For those of you that have seen the news or been on social media, that was my son that fell into the gorilla exhibit at the zoo,” Gregg wrote. “God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him. My son is safe and was able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes … no broken bones or internal injuries.”

She continued: “As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child, and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids. Accidents happen, but I am thankful that the right people were in the right place today.” The post has since been deleted.

Many people criticized Gregg, saying she should have been more vigilant watching her son. Others blamed her for Harambe’s death.

Video footage that witnesses shared show Harambe almost protecting the young boy, but WLWT-TV noted that it cut out the graphic part where the gorilla dragged the tike. One Facebook user, Tony Luers, garnered hundreds of shares for his post when he questioned whether Harambe was violently dragging the boy.

Harambe, a 17-year-old who weighed 400 pounds, was shot and killed after he disobeyed orders to leave the enclosure. His life expectancy was 60 years.


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