A rare gorilla was killed after parents, Michelle Gregg and husband Deonne Dickerson, left their 4 year-old son unattended at a zoo.
They have both been slammed with a Change.org petition signed by 160,000 people which is calling for “the boy’s parents to be held accountable for their actions of not supervising their child” adding: “We believe that this negligence may be reflective of the child’s home situation.”
Michelle and Dickerson’s four year-old son fell into a gorilla enclosure and an endangered silverback gorilla named Harambe was shot to death after the gorilla dragged the child “like a ragdoll” for 10 minutes at Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio on Saturday, (May, 28 ) although new footage reveals 17 year-old Harambe was protecting the child.
With the hashtag #JusticeForHarambe trending on Twitter, social media users have demanded that both parents should be charged with child endangerment just as outraged animal lovers and animal rights activists scolded the zoo officials for killing Harambe rather than using a tranquilizer.
Ms Gregg and the boy’s father, Dickerson, 36, have been the subjects of criticism since the incident. Cincinnati police said the they have not been charged, but that charges could eventually be sought by the Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney.
It is not clear if the zoo faces charges as well.
Michelle whose husband, Dickerson is a past convict with a long rap sheet of crimes including robbery and kidnap broke her silence on Sunday to say people were too quick to judge.
According to News.Com, Michelle shared on Facebook:
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.
Following the boy’s release from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre where he received treatment, his family issued a statement saying, “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.”
Source, News.com, Dailymail