Mom of Boy Who Got Gorilla Killed: 'I Watch My Kids'

Henrietta Brewer
May 31, 2016

The zoo's risky animal response team ultimately shot and killed the animal. He noted that the 400-pound-plus gorilla didn't appear to be attacking the child but was in an "agitated situation" and was "extremely strong". He said there was no doubt the boy's life was in danger. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and little boy", said Maynard. The hospital is not releasing details on his condition.

The incident came about a week after zoo staffers in Chile shot and killed two lions to save a man who had entered their enclosure and stripped off his clothes. She said the boy's mother was with several other young children and told him no.

He said the main lesson following the incident is that parents need to treat zoos and animals with respect.

"For those of you that have seen the news or been on social media, that was my soon that fell into the gorilla exhibit at the zoo".

The Cincinnati Zoo's director stands by the decision to kill a gorilla after a boy entered its enclosure.

A Facebook group called "Justice for Harambe" was created hours after his death and has close to 40,000 likes.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a statement from its primatologist, Julia Gallucci saying the zoo should have had better barriers between humans and gorillas. She says she felt drawn to the zoo because of what had happened in Cincinnati.

"This is very emotional and people have expressed different feelings", Mr. Maynard said.

"Not everyone shares the same opinion and that's OK. We have given millions of dollars to preserve these animals", Jack said in an interview with Good Morning America.

Mr. Maynard described how Harambe "swished him around in the water by the ankle" then carried him on to land.

An online petition has been set up to press for "the parents to be held accountable for the lack of supervision and negligence that caused Harambe to lose his life". A Cincinnati police spokesman said no charges were being considered.

"The reason the tranquilizing was not chosen is that in an agitated situation, which the male was, it may take quite a while for a tranquilizer to take effect", said Maynard. "We hope that you will respect our privacy at this time".

He acknowledges there are also critics of the zoo's decision Saturday to kill Harambe, a 17-year-old western lowlands gorilla.

"We know that this was a very hard decision for them and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla", the statement said. Members are required to conduct four safety drills per year, as well as have an emergency response plan in place for the risky animals. PETA also condemned the killing, urging families to "stay away from any facility that displays animals as sideshows for humans to gawk at".

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