Gorilla Shot Dead At Cincinnati Zoo After 4-Year-Old Lad Falls Into Enclosure

There's more grim news coming from a zoo today, following the death of Hanako 'the worlds loneliest elephant' in Tokyo yesterday.
This time zoo officials in Cincinnati shot dead a gorilla after a 4-year-old boy fell into its enclosure.
According to BBC News, the boy fell into a moat inside the enclosure only to be dragged about by Harambe, a 180kg male gorilla, for around 10 minutes.

It's unclear whether the gorilla was trying to harm the boy and reactions to the video have been mixed, with some angry at the zoo's response to the incident. You can watch a video of it here, though be warned you might find it distressing...

Zoo director Thane Maynard said: "[The officials] made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy's life. It could have been very bad."
Although Maynard admitted Harambe didn't appear to be attacking the child, he said that it was a 'life-threatening situation' that demanded a tough choice.
Using a tranquilliser was ruled out by officials as they felt it could have endangered the boy further, as it wouldn't have knocked-out the 17-year-old western lowland gorilla straight away.
After the shooting the 4-year-old was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centre, but is said to have sustained no serious injuries.
This isn't the first time zoo officials have caused controversy by shooting an animal in captivity. Last week zookeepers shot dead two lions in Chile after a man jumped into their enclosure.
Originally born in Texas, Harambe moved to Cincinnati zoo in 2014 to be part of a breeding programme for endangered western lowland gorillas.
Thankfully the boy escaped serious injury, but RIP Harambe, another animal taken too soon.
Words by James Dawson

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