No Charges Filed Against Parents in Gorilla Incident at Cincinnati Zoo
No charges will be filed against the parents of a young boy who crawled over a barrier at the Cincinnati Zoo and fell into an enclosure with a 450-pound gorilla, Hamilton County, Ohio, prosecuting attorney Joseph Deters said at a press conference today.
“This mother did not act in any way where she presented this child to some harm,” he said.
Video obtained by ABC News shows the 17-year-old gorilla, named Harambe, dragging the small boy through water in the enclosure on May 28. The boy, 3, was in the enclosure for 10 minutes before the gorilla was shot in the head and killed by zoo staff. The boy was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and released without life-threatening injuries.
Deters said the boy only suffered minor scrapes and bruises.
“I don’t know how he wasn’t hurt,” he said.
Deters said “there was nothing that the mother could have done” in the incident and “I just think we’re lucky that the zoo did what they had to do.”
He added: “I’ve been a bit taken aback by some folks’ moral equivalence of human life and animal life. This is a beautiful little boy and had they not acted and this animal behaved sometimes like animals behave, we could have had a genuine tragedy here. It’s sad enough that the gorilla was taken out but it could’ve been a lot worse.”
The family said in a statement they were “very pleased with this decision. This is one more step in allowing us to put this tragic episode behind us and return to our normal family life. We extend thanks to all of those who have been praying for us and who have supported us through this trying ordeal.”