Ohio zoo kills 17-year-old gorilla to protect small child in enclosure

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CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Zoo’s director says zoo security officers killed a 17-year-old gorilla that had grabbed a small boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit moat.

Director Thane Maynard says the is expected to recover after being picked up and dragged by the gorilla Saturday for about 10 minutes. He was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Police had initially reported that the gorilla was tranquilized, but Maynard said the decision was made to shoot to kill to save the boy’s life. He calls the decision a difficult one, but the right one.

A hospital spokesman says he has no information to release. Authorities haven’t released the child’s name.

The incident was reported around 4 p.m. The around the gorilla exhibit was closed off Saturday afternoon.


  • Debra ham

    How did this little child come so close to this gorilla? There are boundaries at the zoos. May be the parents thought it was cute for their child to get close and may be take a picture and spread it on face book. These animals, even though they are in captivity, does not make them tame. They are wild creatures that we chose to capture for people to look at. What a wonderful life these animals live in captivity. They have no privacy and no room to roam. The zoo’s need to accommodate each and every animal they have and provide adequate space.

  • chris

    Too bad we can’t kill the chimps and gorillas on the northside of Milwaukee to keep society safe.

  • Black lives matter

    “Those zoo keepers are racist!, They had no right shooting this unarmed African American!

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