Interactions between humans and animals are always dicey, even if it’s a safe place for both in a zoo. Zoos are, in a lot of ways, a place where mankind can get closer to nature and learn about animals that they’d never get to see up close otherwise. Many are critical of zoos and how they keep animals locked up, away from their natural habitat, while others praise zoos for the important research and preservation that they do for certain species. As far as Gorillas are concerned, they have a bit of a strange history when it comes to interacting with mankind, going from cute, cuddly and friendly to downright Congo levels of dangerous in the blink of an eye.
The latest, unfortunate interaction between humanity and animals at a zoo took place in Cincinnati, CBS News reports. Today at the Cincinnati Zoo a 4-year-old boy climbed up the railing overlooking a gorilla enclosure when he fell through the protective wires over ten feet into the animal’s den. From there, reports claim that a 400 lbs, 17-year-old Western lowland silverback male named Harambe then violently dragged and tossed the horrified boy around the enclosure. The incident lasted for a painful ten minutes while shell-shocked visitors looked on helpless before a zookeeper was forced to use a rifle to fatally shoot the animal.
The boy was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries, with him remaining conscious throughout the entire attack. The split-second decision to use deadly force against the endangered gorilla is being called the correct decision considering the size and strength of the animal and how a tranquilizer would have taken minutes to work into its system, with every moment being vital for the boy’s survival.
(Via CBS News)