Police Open A Criminal Investigation Into Harambe The Gorilla’s Death

News Editor
06.01.16 10 Comments

Many days after Harambe the gorilla met his untimely death at the Cincinnati Zoo, answers could be on the way. The unfortunate primate was as surprised as anyone to see a child in his enclosure on Saturday. To the horror of a captive crowd, Harambe dragged the 4-year-old boy through his moat, and it was all captured on video. Although folks speculate whether any harm would have come, the powerful 400-pound gorilla could have inadvertently caused injury, so the zoo made the difficult decision to shoot the animal. This ending conjured up a furious mob, which demanded justice. Celebrities joined in the outrage, and the situation turned into a cluster of epic proportions.

Folks couldn’t agree on whether, as Jack Hanna insisted, Harambe would have killed the boy, or whether he was simply acting protective. The conversation lent itself towards careful discussions of animals in captivity, but one thing that many people could agree on is that something was fishy. And folks wondered exactly how this young child could have ended up in such perilous danger after leaving his mother’s sight for only a moment. The only fortunate aspect of this incident is that the child walked away with mere scratches, but this sad adventure isn’t over. According to ABC News, police are forging ahead with a criminal probe:

“The incident at the Cincinnati Zoo involving the young child who fell into the gorilla enclosure is under investigation by the Cincinnati Police Department,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters said in a statement today. “Once their investigation is concluded, they will confer with our office on possible criminal charges. When the investigation and review are complete, we will update the media.”

In a later statement, the police department said that its review “is only regarding the actions of the parents/family that led up to the incident and not related to the operation or safety of the Cincinnati Zoo.”

So, the zoo’s actions (before or during this event) aren’t under scrutiny. Instead, the police are solely concentrating upon the parent (the mother only) who was present when the child fell into the gorilla’s pen. Various reports say the child was overheard saying he wanted to dive into the water, and many feel that the entire affair could have been prevented, although this notion is only speculative. In addition, the mother allegedly penned a now-deleted social media post admitting her relief, but also regretting her mistake.

As some experts noted, there wasn’t a choice to be made by the zoo. They could only guarantee the child’s safety in a matter of seconds, and no more. All around, this is a sad situation, but police are working to put a little justice into motion, however slight it may seem.


(Via ABC News, CNN, and Fox 6 Cincinnati)

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