An Ohio prosecutor will not be seeking charges against the family of a little boy who fell into an exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo, resulting in the shooting of an endangered gorilla.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced his decision Monday, saying the 3-year-old’s mother had three other children with her and was attending to them when the boy “just scampered off”.
The gorilla exhibit has been closed to the public since the May 28th incident but is expected to open Tuesday with a higher, reinforced barrier. The boy apparently climbed over the outer barrier and fell 15 feet into shallow water. Harambe, the 17-year-old western lowland gorilla, was shot by a special response team in an effort to protect the child.
The family is pleased with the prosecutor’s decision, calling it “one more step in allowing us to put this tragic episode behind us and return to our normal family life”.