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30th May 2016

The mother of the boy who fell into the gorilla pen has spoken out

Over 100,000 people have signed a petition to hold the child's parents to account

People around the world were shocked to hear news about the death of a gorilla in Cincinnati Zoo over the weekend.

Harambe, a 17-year-old endangered West Lowland gorilla, was shot dead by animal control staff in the zoo after a four-year- old boy fell into his enclosure.

The young child is said to be safe and currently in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

However, many people have voiced their anger at Harambe’s death. In their view, the gorilla’s death could have easily been avoided had the child’s parents prevented the boy from falling into the pen.

Now the mother of the boy has responded to critics, saying “accidents happen” in a Facebook post.

The post reads:

“I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers today. What started off as a wonderful day turned into a scary one.

“For those of you that have seen the news or been on social media that was my son that fell in the gorilla exhibit at the zoo. God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him.

“My son is safe and was able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes… no broken bones or internal injuries.

“As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids. Accidents happen but I am thankful that the right people were in the right place today.”

Michelle Gregg-Gorillda Story


Since Harambe’s death, over 100,000 people have also signed a special petition, calling for the boy’s parents to “be held accountable for the lack of supervision and negligence that caused Harambe to lose his life”.

In a press release, Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard said they were “heartbroken about losing Harambe”, but reiterated that a child’s life was in danger and staff had to make a quick decision.

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