Rare Gorilla Shot And Killed By Zookeepers To Protect Four-Year-Old Boy That Climbed Into His Enclosure
This is awful.
Officials at the Cincinnati Zoo were forced to shoot and kill a rare 400-pound western lowland gorilla after a four-year-old boy climbed through a railing and fell into a moat in the animal's enclosure on Saturday.
The gorilla — named Harambe — wasn't directly attacking the child, but officials still felt that for the child's safety, it was the most important thing to take out the gorilla to save the little boy.
Harambe, who had turned seventeen years old on Friday, was dragging the boy around the enclosure, and officials believe that even though he wasn't attacking the child — and the gorilla encountered the kid through no fault of its own, of course — something bad could have happened.
Thayne Maynard, the zoo's director, told reporters that they interpreted Harambe's movements as threatening, saying:
"It's a sad day all around. 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 … all sorts of things could happen."
Social media users from all over snapped video of the incident, including some — that do not show the fatal shot being fired — below: