A holiday weekend admiring animals at the zoo quickly turned into a PR crisis.
The Cincinnati Zoo is getting severe criticism for shooting one of its nine western lowland gorillas on Saturday after a 4-year-old boy fell into the animals’ habitat.
Videos of the incident abound online, with the following amassing more than 10 million views on YouTube:
Though the female gorillas in the habitat heeded keepers’ calls, its 17-year-old, 450-pound male gorilla, Harambe, would not leave the child. The zoo’s staff ushered visitors away from the enclosure before killing the animal.
The boy—who crawled over 3-foot-high steel bars, bushes and wire fencing before falling roughly 15 feet into a moat in the primates’ habitat—was released from the hospital on Saturday night.