The mother of the three-year-old boy who fell into a gorilla pit at the Cincinnati Zoo won’t be charged, according to CNN.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters announced on Monday that he won’t seek charges against Michelle Gregg, citing that she was distracted by her other children when her son climbed the fence of the gorilla exhibit.
“This happened so quickly… there’s nothing the mother could have done,” Deter said. “She had three other kids with her and turned her back. … And if anyone doesn’t believe a 3-year-old can scamper off very quickly, they’ve never had kids.”
On May 28, Harambe, a 450-pound silverback gorilla, came into contact with the toddler when he fell 15 feet into the exhibit.
A zoo worker used a rifle, killing the animal with a single shot to the head after the gorilla dragged the child across a moat. According to Cincinatti.com, the boy suffered only a few scrapes and bruises.
Days after the incident, the internet exploded with opinion pieces, split between animal activists who believed the zoo acted prematurely, and critics who reprimanded Gregg’s parenting.
The zoo held their ground, saying the gorilla was a danger to the child.
Deters said the zoo made changes to fortify the border surrounding the exhibit, which is scheduled to reopen Tuesday.
Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums have launched investigations into the incident, CNN reports.
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