The Latest: Animal rights group says zoo needs extra barrier


CINCINNATI (AP) — The Latest on the boy who fell into a gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo (all times local):

3 p.m.

An animal rights group says the Cincinnati Zoo should have had a second barrier around its gorilla exhibit where a boy fell into a moat.

A statement from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says captivity is never acceptable for gorillas and it turned deadly this time.

Zoo security officers fatally shot a 17-year-old gorilla after it grabbed the 4-year-old boy who dropped about 10 feet into the exhibit.

Video from the moments afterward shows the gorilla standing over the boy in a shallow moat.

Two witnesses say they thought the gorilla was trying to protect the boy at first before getting spooked by the screams of onlookers.

Authorities say the child is expected to be OK.

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2:20 p.m.

Visitors are leaving flowers at a gorilla statue inside the Cincinnati zoo one day after security officers killed a gorilla that had grabbed a boy who fell into the exhibit.

The zoo’s Gorilla World exhibit remained closed Sunday, but the rest of the zoo is open.

One father says he was shocked that a 4-year-old boy was able to get past a fence outside the gorilla habitat. Zoo officials say the boy fell about 10 feet into a moat where one the gorillas stood over the youngster.

One witness says she heard the boy say he wanted to jump into the water.

Zoo officials say its special animal response team shot and killed the gorilla 10 minutes after the boy fell because they felt his life was in danger.

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10:30 a.m.

Video from the moments after a 4-year-old boy fell into a gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo shows one of the gorillas standing over the boy in a shallow moat.

Frantic screaming can be heard in the background, including a woman yelling “Mommy’s right here” and “Mommy loves you.”

Video taken by zoo visitors Saturday shows the 17-year-old gorilla grab at the boy before dragging him.

Zoo officials say its special animal response team shot and killed the gorilla 10 minutes after the boy fell because they felt his life was in danger.

Firefighters then rescued the boy who was in a hospital and is expected to recover.

One witness says she tried to grab the boy before he fell after seeing him in bushes beyond a fence around the exhibit.

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12:30 a.m.

The Cincinnati Zoo has temporarily closed its gorilla exhibit after a special zoo response team shot and killed a 17-year-old gorilla that grabbed and dragged a 4-year-old boy who fell into a moat.

Zoo officials say the boy fell after he climbed through a public barrier at the Gorilla World exhibit Saturday afternoon. He was picked up out of the moat and dragged by the gorilla for about 10 minutes.

Authorities say the child, who has not been identified, fell 10 to 12 feet. He was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where he’s expected to recover.

Zoo Director Thane Maynard says the zoo’s dangerous animal response team decided the boy was in “a life-threatening situation” and that they needed to put down the 400-pound-plus male gorilla named Harambe.