Cincinnati Zoo was packed with the weekend crowd. The people were excited but the excitement turns into a nightmare after a small kid falls into the Gorilla habitat. Kid unaware of the potential threat from a gigantic gorilla was visibly calm and even Gorilla seemed to be helping the child while kid’s tensed mom cried out for help and tried to calm down the kid.
Gorilla picked up the kid and carried him away from the spectator’s sight possibly trying to save the kid. Huge and intimidating, gorilla seemed to be caring and protective of the child.
WATCH: Gorilla grabs child who’s fallen into habitat at Cincinnati Zoo
Unfortunately the fate of this event was heart breaking as the Zoo keepers reportedly had to shoot down the Gorilla to save the Child as per the protocol.
Also watch another video shot by one of the visitors
— Amber Soler (@Amber_Soler) May 29, 2016
“It was pure panic,” said Brittany Nicely, 29, who was there with her two children.
Ms. Nicely said that out of the corner of her eye she spotted the boy on the wrong side of wooden and wire barriers along the edge of the enclosure. She reached for him, she said, but not in time, and he fell about 10 feet into a shallow moat.
Harambe, a teenage western lowland gorilla, then grabbed the child, but his intentions were not clear. At times, he stood over the boy in what appeared to be a protective posture. But then he darted across the water, dragging the child roughly by the arm.
“He wasn’t throwing him around,” Ms. Nicely said. “He wasn’t mauling him to death, which is what I thought was going to happen.
The gorilla could have easily crushed the boy at any moment, however, if only by carelessness, she said.
The zoo said in a statement that the use of lethal force had been a difficult decision. A tranquilizer would have taken several minutes to neutralize the animal, prolonging the risk.
“The zoo security team’s quick response saved the child’s life,” the zoo’s director, Thane Maynard, said. “We are all devastated that this tragic accident resulted in the death of a critically endangered gorilla. This is a huge loss for the zoo family and the gorilla population worldwide.”