4-year-old released from hospital after getting into Gorilla World at zoo

WLWT Photo

CINCINNATI, Ohio (WLWT) – A 4-year-old child who was rescued from Gorilla World at the Cincinnati Zoo was released from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Saturday night, zoo officials said.

The boy crawled through a railing and fell into a moat in the gorilla habitat Saturday afternoon.

The family of the boy released the following statement Sunday afternoon:

“We are so thankful to the Lord that our child is safe. He is home and doing just fine. We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff. We know that this was a very difficult decision for them, and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla. We hope that you will respect our privacy at this time.”

The gorilla was shot and killed by the zoo’s dangerous animal response team after it dragged the boy through the water in the moat.

“Our first response was to call the gorillas out of the exhibit. The two females complied, but Harambe did not,” said Zoo Director Thayne Maynard.

He added that tranquilizing the 450-pound gorilla “was not an option.”

“Tranquilizers do not take effect for several minutes and the child was in imminent danger,” said Maynard. “On top of that, the impact from the dart could agitate the animal and cause the situation to get much worse.”

He added, “We’re glad to hear that the child is going to be okay. We’re touched by the outpouring of support from the community and our members who loved Harambe,” said Maynard. “The Zoo family is going through a painful time, and we appreciate your understanding and know that you care about our animals and the people who care for them.”

The zoo houses nine western lowland gorillas, the zoo said. The zoo is open as usual but Gorilla World will be closed until further notice.

WDTN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s