Mom Won’t be Charged in Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla’s Death

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An Ohio prosecutor announced Monday that the mother of the three-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo Memorial Day weekend will not face criminal charges.

“By all accounts, this mother did not act in any way where she presented this child to some harm,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters in a press conference.

Deters added, “She had three other kids with her and turned her back. … And if anyone doesn’t believe a three-year-old can scamper off very quickly, they’ve never had kids.”

The prosecution’s decision comes after the mother was vilified in the press and on social media for over a week after her son slipped into a gorilla enclosure on May 28.

As we previously reported,

[The] three-year-old boy crawled under a rail and through a wire fence, before falling nearly 20 feet over the moat wall into the zoo’s gorilla exhibit. Luckily, the child survived the fall, but within minutes a 450-pound western lowland gorilla had grabbed the child and began dragging him through the moat.

After dragging the crying child for nearly 10 minutes,  the zoo’s dangerous animal response team shot and killed the 17-year-old male gorilla named Harambe.

Social media exploded with furious commentators shaming the boy’s parents, specifically his mother, for not keeping a better watch over her son. As a result, several petitions supporting criminal charges against the mother for child endangerment and harm to an endangered species were created. However, most legal experts speculated that no criminal charges would be brought against the mother–and it looks like they were right.

The Cincinnati Zoo’s Gorilla World exhibit is scheduled to reopen to the public Tuesday with a newly raised barrier.

Click here to read the full original post.

Alexis Evans
Alexis Evans is an Assistant Editor at Law Street and a Buckeye State native. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a minor in Business from Ohio University. Contact Alexis at



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