A Gorilla Was Tragically Killed After A 4-Year-Old Climbed Into Its Enclosure


A 4-year-old boy sat face to face with a 400-pound gorilla and didn't die. The same cannot be said for the gorilla.

On Saturday, a 17-year-old, male gorilla was tragically killed at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in Ohio after a boy fell into its enclosure, according to ABC News.

The boy fell about 10 to 12 feet into a moat where he was reportedly picked up and carried around, sometimes violently, by the gorilla. It was this violence that sealed the gorilla's fate; a zoo employee shot the gorilla named Harambe when the boy was between his legs, before two firefighters rescued the child from danger. The boy was reportedly hospitalized with serious injuries, but none are life-threatening.

Video was taken of the toddler in the enclosure.

You can see a pretty violent moment missing from the video above in this clip below.

Violent or not, this entire situation has some people upset over the decision to kill the gorilla, with some people claiming the situation wasn't the gorilla's fault so it shouldn't have been killed.

But according to the zoo's director, Thane Maynard, the gorilla had to be shot for the child's safety.

Maynard said of the zoo's decision to shoot the gorilla,

They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy's life. It could have been very bad... The choice was made to put down, or shoot, Harambe, so he's gone. We've never had a situation like this at the Cincinnati Zoo where a dangerous animal needed to be dispatched in an emergency situation... The zoo security team's quick response saved the child's life. We are all devastated that this tragic accident resulted in the death of a critically-endangered gorilla. This is a huge loss for the zoo family and the gorilla population worldwide.

He added that tranquilizing Harambe was not an option because the gorilla was agitated; a tranquilizer dart might not have knocked the gorilla out immediately, and he could've harmed the child before the dart took effect.

Maynard also said nobody had ever gotten into the gorilla's enclosure in the 38-year history of the zoo's gorilla exhibit.

Did the zoo make the right call to shoot the gorilla? Who's at fault? Let us know in the comments and check out some videos of Harambe's time at the zoo in the clips below.

Citations: 4-Year-Old Who Fell Into Cincinnati Zoo's Gorilla Enclosure Expected to Recover (ABC News), Gorilla killed after 4-year-old falls into zoo enclosure (