400-Pound Gorilla Shot Dead After 4-Year-Old Boy Crawled Into Zoo Enclosure

Just a week after a man jumped into a zoo’s lion enclosure that resulted in two of the animals being shot dead, we have a young boy entering the gorilla habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo shot, which ended in one of the animals being shot dead.

On Saturday, a 4-year-old boy crawled under a rail, through wires, over the moat wall and into a zoo enclosure that had gorillas. That is where Harambe, a 400-pound western lowland gorilla who just turned 17-years-old, greeted the boy by dragging him around the habitat for about 10 minutes. The zoo’s dangerous animal response team was called to the scene and assessed the situation. They considered it a life-threatening situation, so the gorilla was shot with a rifle. The team decided against shooting Harambe with a tranquilizer because the drug would have taken too long to immobilize the animal.

“The child was not under attack but all sorts of things could happen,” Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard said at a press briefing. “He certainly was at risk.”

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