10394524_10153175130002973_7274470645021833011_nCINCINNATI, OH (May 28, 2016) – A 4-year-old boy climbed through a public barrier at Gorilla World at around 4pm today at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and fell into the exhibit’s moat.  The two female gorillas in the exhibit were recalled immediately, but the third, a male, remained in the yard with the child. The Zoo’s Dangerous Animal Response Team responded to the life-threatening situation and made the difficult decision to dispatch the gorilla (Harambe).

“The Zoo security team’s quick response saved the child’s life.  We are all devastated that this tragic accident resulted in the death of a critically-endangered gorilla,” said Zoo Director Thane Maynard.  “This is a huge loss for the Zoo family and the gorilla population worldwide.”

The child was alert when transported to Children’s Hospital Medical Center.  The hospital is not releasing details on his condition. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and little boy,” said Maynard.

The Zoo will be open tomorrow, but Gorilla World will be closed until further notice.