Nightmare as child is dragged around by 180kg gorilla; animal killed in rescue mission

A lovely family outing turned into a nightmare on Saturday when a 4-year-old boy crawled into a moat at Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio having a near death experience with a 180kg gorilla.

In the dramatic video, the massive animal is seen dragging the child by the calf as her mother screams in the background.

The mother’s panicked screams attracted a crowd, and this seeming agitated the 17-year-old western lowland gorilla, Harambe.

Acting swiftly, Zoo officials gunned down the animal – an action that has sparked outrage among animal lovers, many of whom asked why Harambe was not simply tranquilized.

Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard explained that tranquilization would not have acted swiftly enough, and this would have put the young child in further danger.

“The reason that tranquilizer was not chosen was that in an agitated situation it may take quite a while for the tranquilizer to take effect, but certainly at the instant he {Harambe] would be hit he would have a dramatic response so that was eliminated as a best option,” said Maynard.

That said, the Zoo director stated that they are devastated by the tragic incident.

“The Zoo security team’s quick response saved the child’s life. 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,” he said.

The boy was conscious during the rescue but suffered some non-life threatening injuries; he has since been discharged.

The zoos cited this was the first ever security breach since 1978, when the zoo was first established. The Cincinnati Zoo’s, Gorilla World which houses around 11 gorillas’ remains closed indefinitely.

Harambe, whose birthday was Friday, was born in Texas.

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