The Cincinnati Zoo’s Dangerous Animal Response Team shot and killed a Western lowland silverback male gorilla named Harambe after a four-year-old boy fell into his enclosure on Saturday.
Witnesses say that the 17 year old, 400-pound gorilla tossed and threw the child while others say that the massive ape was actually trying to help the boy and even appeared to be holding his hand at times.
The zoo is being heavily criticized by animal lovers and those that feel the zoo was too quick to shoot.
A Change.org petition entitled “Justice for Harambe” calling on the Cincinnati Zoo, the Hamilton County Child Protection Services, and the Cincinnati Police Department to hold the parents of the boy who fell into the enclosure responsible has garnered over 100,00 signatures.
The boy’s parents, Deonne Dickerson and Michelle Gregg, are facing serious scrutiny online with many blasting Dickerson’s decade long criminal record which includes firearms offenses, drug trafficking, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, and kidnapping.
What do you think?
Did the zoo make the right decision in shooting the gorilla?
Should the parents be held responsible?
Does the father’s criminal record matter?
Take to the forums to comment!