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.
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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:
Tags: accident, animal cruelty, animal rights, cincinnati zoo, gorilla, harambe, sad sad, shooting, viral: animals, viral: kids, viral: news, zoo