A gorilla was on Saturday shot dead in a zoo at Cincinnati in Ohio, United States in a desperate efforts to rescue a 3-year-old boy who got into its enclosure.
Multiple reports said the 17-year-old, 400-pound male lowland gorilla named Harambe, was shot and killed by the zoo’s dangerous animal response team about 10 minutes after the boy made it into the enclosure.
According to Zoo director Thayne Maynard, the boy crawled through the railing and fell into the moat just before 4 p.m. Saturday.
In the video, Harambe is seen dragging and throwing the boy as calls for help rent the air.
Maynard confirmed the boy was not under attack, but he described it as ‘an extremely strong animal in an agitated situation’ before supporting the response team’s decision to kill Harambe.
The incident, which was captured on cell phone, has sparked an outcry of emotion, with thousands of mourners branding it a ‘senseless death’.
A vigil for Harambe is being held outside the Cincinnati Zoo today. The organizer Anthony Seta, who describes himself as an animal rights advocate, called it a ‘senseless death’ but clarified the vigil was ‘not a protest against the zoo’.
A mother who was at the zoo said she tried to stop the child, who authorities believe crawled past the railing and fell 10 feet into the gorilla’s habitat, where he spent more than 10
‘I tried to prevent it, I tried to grab him and I just couldn’t get to him fast enough,’ Brittany Nicely told WHIO.
But Ian Redmond, the chairman of the Gorilla Organization, told CNN: ‘When gorilla or other apes have things they shouldn’t have, keepers will negotiate with them, bring food, their favorite treats, pineapple or some kind of fruit that they don’t know and negotiate with them.’