Backlash over shooting of gorilla at US zoo

Backlash over shooting of gorilla at US zoo

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A public backlash intensified today after zookeepers killed a critically endangered gorilla holding a young boy who had fallen into its enclosure in a horrifying incident captured on video.

Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland silverback gorilla, was shot after the four-year-old crawled through a barrier and tumbled into the enclosure on Saturday.

Video footage shows the creature dragging the boy through a water-filled moat while onlookers scream.

At one point, the huge animal stops and appears to hold the child’s hand before pulling him out of view.

While generally acknowledging that zookeepers had few options, critics slammed the zoo and the child’s parents.

“The enclosure should have been surrounded by a secondary barrier to prevent this,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wrote on Twitter.

“This tragedy is exactly why PETA urges families to stay away from any facility that displays animals as sideshows for humans to gawk at.”

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