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.


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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