It was Saturday [May 28, 2016] that the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden had little choice but to shoot and kill a western lowland gorilla after a four year old boy slipped and fell into the animal’s enclosure after crawling through a barrier.


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According to Zoo director Thane Maynard at a press briefing following the occurrence, the 17-year old and 400-pound gorilla named Harambe picked up the child and dragged him around the habitat for around 10 minutes in what the zoo’s dangerous animal response team described as a life-threatening situation.

“The child was not under attack but all sorts of things could happen,” said Maynard. “He certainly was at risk.”

99364274_gorilla-NEWS-large_trans++VUsV2lOUsi3VLW0hzHQEKd16SUdfpO2gf6l-DwNwmP8Thane also stressed that they decided against using a tranquilizer because it takes effect too slowly. While the quick response did manage to save the young toddler’s life, zoo employees are still devastated with losing Harambe, a member of a very rare species.

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According to the World Wildlife Fund, the western lowland gorilla, found in parts of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea is a critically endangered species

“They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy’s life,” Maynard continued.

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