Real Life

Fury as gorilla killed to save boy

A zoo is under fire for shooting a rare gorilla to save a boy who fell into its enclosure.

The 200kg animal was filmed carrying the boy around “like a ragdoll” for 10 minutes before zoo employers shot the creature dead.

It seems like an obvious choice – killing an animal to save a human child – but the move has landed the zoo in hot water, with hundreds taking to social media to claim the shooting was completely unnecessary.

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Many claimed the gorilla was trying to protect the boy, not hurt him, while others blasted the boy’s parents, insisting they be charged with neglect.

“If Haramabe was going to injure or kill the child, he would have done so,” one Twitter user wrote. “He was protecting/rescuing. Senseless murder of an animal.”

Another wrote: “I don’t see why they could not use tranquilliser rather than kill this beautiful creature.”

The images are shocking.

More than 5000 people have liked the Facebook page Justice for Harambe.

Zoo officials have defended their actions, saying a tranquiliser dart would not have acted fast enough to get the boy out of trouble.

“[The officials] made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy’s life,” Zoo director Thane Maynard said.

“It could have been very bad. It’s a very sad day for the zoo.”

The boy was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery. It is not known how he fell into the enclosure.

The incident comes a week after two lions were shot dead after a man jumped into their enclosure to commit suicide.

This story originally appeared on Australian Women’s Weekly

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