The gorilla that attacked a four-year-old boy at the Cincinatti zoo has been shot dead.
The 400-pound, 17-year-old primate named Harambe grabbed and carried the child into a moat after he fell into the cage. It continued to drag him for about 10 minutes until it was taken down by the zoo’s Dangerous Animal Response Team.
The child was removed from the scene and brought to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Initial reports say that he was in a serious condition with non-life-threatening injuries. A recent report has said that he has since been discharged.
“It seemed very much by our professional team…to be a life-threatening situation,” said Cincinnati Zoo President Thane Maynard in a press conference.
“It’s a sad day all around,” Mr Maynard said. “They made a tough choice and they made the right choice. Because they saved that little boy’s life. It could have been very bad.”
Mr Maynard also made it clear that Harambe was not attacking the child when it was shot, but “all sorts of things could happen,” and that “He certainly was at risk.” He also added that Zoo personnel also considered using tranquilizer, but it would have not taken effect immediately.
Harambe is a western lowland gorilla, a critically endangered species. According to CNN, they can be found in places like Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Cong, and Equatorial Guinea. The zoo had hoped that he would eventually help father other gorillas.