Zoo team de­cided boy’s life was in dan­ger

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Cincinnati Zoo in the US has tem­po­rar­ily closed its go­rilla ex­hibit af­ter a spe­cial zoo re­sponse team shot and killed a 17-year-old go­rilla that grabbed a four-year-old boy who fell into a moat.

Zoo of­fi­cials said the boy fell af­ter he climbed through a pub­lic bar­rier at the Go­rilla World ex­hibit on Satur­day af­ter­noon. He was picked up out of the moat and dragged by the go­rilla for about 10 min­utes.

Author­i­ties said the child, who has not been iden­ti­fied, fell about 4 me­tres. He was taken to Cincinnati Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Med­i­cal Cen­tre, where he is ex­pected to re­cover.

Zoo Di­rec­tor Thane May­nard said the zoo’s dan­ger­ous an­i­mal re­sponse team de­cided the boy was in “a lifethreat­en­ing sit­u­a­tion” and that they needed to put down the 180kg-plus male go­rilla named Harambe.

“They made a tough choice and they made the right choice be­cause they saved that lit­tle boy’s life,” May­nard said. “It could have been very bad.”

But he mourned the loss of the go­rilla, which came to Cincinnati in 2015 from the Gla­dys Porter Zoo in Texas.

“We are all dev­as­tated that this tragic ac­ci­dent re­sulted in the death of a crit­i­cal­lyen­dan­gered go­rilla,” he said. “This is a huge loss for the zoo fam­ily and the go­rilla pop­u­la­tion world­wide.”

Two fe­male go­ril­las were also in the en­clo­sure when the boy fell in but zoo of­fi­cials said only the male re­mained with the child.

May­nard said the go­rilla didn’t ap­pear to be at­tack­ing the child, but he said it was “an ex­tremely strong” an­i­mal in an ag­i­tated sit­u­a­tion. He said tran­quil­is­ing the go­rilla wouldn’t have knocked it out im­me­di­ately, leav­ing the boy in dan­ger.

It was the first time that the team had killed a zoo an­i­mal in such an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion, May­nard said. He called it “a very sad day” at the zoo.

The zoo was due to re-open yes­ter­day but of­fi­cials said the go­rilla ex­hibit has been closed un­til fur­ther no­tice.

DRAMA: A zoo vis­i­tor filmed the in­ci­dent on Satur­day

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