Washington: The parents of a four-year-old boy whose accidental fall into a gorilla’s exhibit moat prompted the killing of the animal in Cincinnati Zoo are under investigation, police said.
The Cincinnati Police Department on Tuesday issued a statement about the actions of the parents that led to the incident and not the operation or safety of the zoo.
Thane Maynard, director of the zoo, on Monday denied that their management had been negligent in safety and insisted that the one-metre barrier around the gorilla enclosure meets industry standards.
On Saturday, a 17-year-old gorilla was shot dead in order to rescue the boy who had fallen into its enclosure in the zoo in Ohio.
The boy climbed the barrier and reached the moat filled with water surrounding the gorilla enclosure.
A lowland silverback gorilla grabbed the boy and dragged him for metres, shows a video footage.
Maynard said the zoo’s dangerous animal response team decided to put down the gorilla as they realised the boy was in a life-threatening situation.
“They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy’s life,” Maynard said.
It was the first time the team had killed a zoo animal in such a situation, said Maynard. He called it “a very sad day” at the zoo.
The Gorilla World exhibit in the Cincinnati Zoo has been closed since the incident and will reopen on Saturday.