No charges filed against family of child that fell in gorilla exhibit

CINCINNATI (KUSI) — An Ohio prosecutor decided Monday the family of a 3-year-old boy who fell into the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla enclosure last week is not at fault.

Related Link: Animal rights group seeks $10K penalty against Cincinnati Zoo

The incident has been under scrutiny since Harambe — a 17-year-old western lowland gorilla who got a hold of the child in the enclosure — was shot by a special forces team that determined the child’s life was in danger. Western lowland gorillas, the species of Harambe, are critically endangered, according to the World Wildlife Fund. 

Many took to social media, attacking the the parents for the incidents that led to Harambe’s death. An investigation was launched by Cincinnati police into the family’s actions. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said it was determined the child’s mother was attending to three other children when the 3-year-old "just scampered off" on May 28.

The zoo worked to reinforce and heighten the barrier of its "Gorilla World" exhibit, which is expected to open Tuesday. The boy apparently climbed over the outer barrier before falling about 15 feet into a moat. A special response team determined the boy’s life was in danger and shot and killed the gorilla. 

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