Local News

Police investigating gorilla mum’s neglect

The mother might be charged with child neglect for allowing her son to fall into the gorilla’s enclosure.
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Police are considering neglect charges against the parents of the child who fell into Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla enclosure.

The Cincinnati Police Department has reopened its investigation into the incident which saw rare male gorilla Harambe shot dead after a four-year-old child fell into his enclosure.

Police initially dismissed the idea of charging the boy’s parents but are now reconsidering possible criminal charges.

“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 Deters said.

“Once their investigation is concluded, they will confer with our office on possible criminal charges.”

Witnesses have reported the child expressed a desire to enter the enclosure before climbing over a one-metre barrier and falling into the moat surrounding the gorilla habitat.

The mother has since taken to Facebook to defend her parenting, saying accidents happen and praising the actions of zoo workers.

The zoo is also facing charges after an animal rights group filed a federal negligence campaign against the zoo.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now is seeking the maximum penalty of US$10,000 [NZ$14,797] following the death of the ape.

“The failure of the Cincinnati Zoo to adequately construct this enclosure to protect both the public and the animal held prisoner there is a clear and fatal violation of the Animal Welfare Act,” the organisation said in its complaint letter to the US Department of Agriculture.

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