US zoo kills gorilla after boy falls into enclosure

By AFP
Published: May 29, 2016
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Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo is pictured in this undated handout photo provided by Cincinnati Zoo. PHOTO: REUTERS

Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo is pictured in this undated handout photo provided by Cincinnati Zoo. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON DC: Workers at the Cincinnati Zoo in the US state of Ohio shot and killed a gorilla on Saturday after a three-year-old boy fell into its enclosure, officials said.

The boy crawled through a barrier into the enclosure and fell into a moat around 4 pm (1600 GMT), zoo director Thane Maynard told reporters.

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The gorilla, a 17-year-old male named Harambe weighing more than 400 pounds (180 kilograms), “went down and got him,” he said.

Witnesses said the gorilla dragged the screaming boy around the habitat, local media reported.

The zoo’s dangerous animal response team shot and killed the gorilla around 10 minutes after the boy first entered it.

He was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening, media quoted the police as saying.

The zoo’s response team decided to shoot the gorilla rather than tranquilize him because a tranquilizer would not have taken effect immediately, Maynard said.

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“It seemed by our own dangerous animals response team to be a life-threatening situation,” he said. “They saved that little boy’s life.”

The zoo houses 11 gorillas, according to its website.

“We’ve never had a situation like this,” Maynard said.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Azi
    May 29, 2016 - 10:51PM

    How does a boy fall in there? Its impossible unless he has amazingly careless parents.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    May 30, 2016 - 1:16PM

    Did they not have tranquilliser guns ? Recommend

  • ahmad
    May 31, 2016 - 2:39PM

    @Bunny Rabbit:
    well if you could take the pain of reading the whole article it is mentioned that tranquilizer would not have had an immediate effect. By the time the gorilla would have fallen unconscious, the kid would have been ripped Recommend

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