Police have launched an investigation into the parents of the three-year-old boy who fell into a gorilla enclosure, prompting zookeepers to kill the 450lb animal who grabbed him.
The Hamilton County, Ohio, prosecutors office said the Cincinnati Police Department will look into the deadly shooting of the beloved 15-year-old Harambe to see if they will seek criminal charges against Michelle Gregg and Deonne Dickerson.
Their son Isiah managed to crawl past railings at the gorilla’s enclosure and fell 15ft into the moat below. Harambe grabbed the boy and dragged him through the water, prompting zoo staff to shoot the endangered animal dead.
The incident has since prompted an angry campaign calling for the parents to be prosecuted. Reports suggest police will be looking into the mother and father’s actions and not the zoo’s operations.
Isiah’s father, 36 year old Deonne Dickerson has a past history of violent crime, with offenses including burglary, firearms offenses, drug trafficking, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and kidnapping, and was sentenced to one year behind bars for a drug trafficking conviction, in 2006. He currently lives with Isiah’s mother Michelle Gregg, and their four children. Isiah was with his mother Michelle Gregg at Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, when he somehow made his way through a barrier, into a moat – and was lifted up by Harambe. Deonne has not been seen since the killing of the gorilla.
Soon after the incident, Michelle Gregg, 32, posted a message on Facebook saying: ‘I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers today. What started off as a wonderful day turned into a scary one.For those of you that have seen the news or been on social media that was my son that fell in the gorilla exhibit at the zoo. God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him. My son is safe and was able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes… no broken bones or internal injuries. As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids. Accidents happen but I am thankful that the right people were in the right place today.’
The family released a statement on Sunday saying they had taken their boy home from the hospital.
It read: ‘We are so thankful to the Lord that our child is safe. He is home and doing just fine. We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff.We know that this was a very difficult decision for them, and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla. We hope that you will respect our privacy at this time.’
What do you think should be done? Is it the zoo’s fault, the parents fault, or neither?
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