Cincinnati Zoo Facing Possible Criminal Charges For Shooting Gorilla

The shooting of an endangered gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo after a four-year-old boy climbed into the enclosure has invoked some very strong reactions, as everyone grieving for Harambe (the gorilla) looks to someone to blame.

A good portion of them – some 400,000, in fact – are aiming that blame squarely at the parents, having signed a petition demanding police hold them accountable. Others (the mother and the zoo included) say it was simply a tragedy and that “accidents happen“, while others still are looking at the zoo.

Police have thus far pressed no charges, but are now investigating possible criminal charges after an animal rights group filed a federal negligence complaint with the US Department of Agriculture against the zoo.

“The failure of Cincinnati Zoo to adequately construct this enclosure to protect both the public and the animal held prisoner there is a clear and fatal violation of the Animal Welfare Act,” said Stop Animal Exploitation Now in its complaint letter.

They’re seeking the maximum penalty of $US10,000 ($13,837). The zoo, for its part, have previously started that the exhibit was safe and exceeded required protocols, which still begs the question: how was a four-year-old able to get in?

According to reports, the zoo has been issued with two citings in the last two years for neglect; one for failing to close two doors in March 2016, resulting in two polar bears getting into a dangerous area with electrical wires, and one for the presence of deteriorating wood in two enclosures in November 2014.

Source: ABC.