MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A terrifying situation at the Cincinnati Zoo that ended with the death of an endangered gorilla has officials re-evaluating safety barriers at Zoo Miami.READ MORE: 2 Doral Police Officers Injured In Shooting Near Miami-Dade Police Headquarters; Suspect Killed ID'd By Police
It was a scary situation for a 4-year-old boy, his mother and all who watched in horror at the zoo as a 450-pound gorilla named Harambe first guarded the child then dragged him by his leg.
More than 10 minutes later, zoo officials say they had no choice but to shoot and kill the 17-year-old gorilla. Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill believes they made the right choice.
“The gorilla did not mean to hurt the child but it is so strong, not realizing it, it could ultimately have hurt the child and maybe even killed the child,” said Magill.
Harambe’s 49-year old grandmother Josephine lives at Zoo Miami and his father Moja was the first gorilla born at the zoo.
“We have to make sure the gorilla did not die in vain. God forbid another child gets into that situation,” said Magill.READ MORE: Shot Doral Police Officer In Serious But Stable Condition, Second Officer Recovering
That is why Magill says at Zoo Miami, they are re-evaluating all their own barriers.
“We have a fence that is being replaced by higher bamboo. We also have these plants which if you touch them, they have thorns but if a child really wanted to, bottom line, he can get over this side and fall into the moat,” said Magill.
According to the Cincinnati Zoo, the child somehow got over the fence and fell into the moat forcing them to make the difficult decision and Harambe paid the ultimate price.
“I want to point out to people, listen folks, if that was your child with that gorilla, what would you have wanted done,” asked Magill. “Secondly, if they did not do that and God forbid something happened to that child all people would be saying today is why didn’t they do something sooner?”MORE NEWS: South Florida PBA Union President Steadman Stahl On Stress Of Being A Police Officer
As for the child, he was taken to the hospital and released a few hours later according to Cincinnati police. His parents will not be charged.