An Ohio prosecutor announced on Monday he will not bring charges against the mother of the 3-year-old boy who fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, causing zookeepers to kill the endangered gorilla to save the child.
A 17-year-old endangered western lowland silverback gorilla named Harambe was shot by zoo staff in the minutes after the boy fell on May 28, and the killing triggered intense criticism of the zoo and the boy's mother.
Some critics had called for criminal charges against the mother, who was with the boy at the zoo, for reckless endangerment.
"I am very sorry about the loss of this gorilla but nothing about this situation rises to the level of a criminal charge," Hamilton County prosecutor Joseph Deters said in a statement.
"Had she been in the bathroom smoking crack and let her kids run around the zoo that'll be a different story. She was attending to her children by all witness accounts and the 3-year-old just scampered off," he told reporters on Monday.
The family said it was very pleased with the decision.
(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz, Suzannah Gonzales and Justin Madden in Chicago; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Cynthia Osterman)
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