Gorilla killing in US zoo to save boy sparks outrage

Cincinnati Zoo defends decision to shoot dead gorilla to protect toddler who had fallen into its enclosure.

    An Ohio zoo has defended its decision to kill an endangered gorilla as a young boy had fallen into its enclosure in an incident captured on video.

    Harambe, a 17-year-old male western lowland silverback gorilla, was shot after the three-year-old crawled through a barrier and tumbled 4.5 metres into the Cincinnati Zoo enclosure on Saturday.

    The zoo's director says there was a clear danger to the toddler.

    "You're talking about an animal that's over 400lb and is extremely strong. So, no, the child wasn't under attack, but all sorts of things can happen in a situation like that. So he certainly was at risk," Thane Maynard said.

    On social media, Twitter users condemned the killing, saying the zoo should have considered other options, while on Facebook a "Justice for Harimbe" group now has more than 3,000 likes.

    Police are investigating how the toddler got into the enclosure but say there is no question of charges being brought against the parents.

    The boy was taken to hospital and treated for his injuries.  

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.