Michelle Gregg, the mother of the little boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo will NOT face criminal charges. While many claimed that it’s because of her that the beloved gorilla, Harambe, was killed, Michelle was found to be ‘attentive’ when the boy ran off.
Hamilton County prosecutor, Joe Deters, announced on June 6 that Michelle Gregg was not negligent when her 3-year-old boy, Isiah Dickerson, strayed at the Cincinnati Zoo, which resulted in him falling into the Gorilla enclosure on May 28. Joe pointed out that the mother had three other children in her care, and based on surveillance cameras and witnesses, she did nothing wrong.
“Kids can scamper off and they do,” Joe said. But added that if Michelle had been “in the bathroom smoking crack that would have been a different story, but that’s not what happened.” Sadly though, the incident ended with the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old gorilla, Harambe, which ended up igniting an international uproar.
Zoo officials killed Harambe after he rushed to the fallen boy, and many blamed Michelle for his death — even clamoring for her to face criminal charges. But Joe said, “There’s nothing that the mother could have done.”
“The family is very pleased with this decision; it is what we expected,” the boy’s family said in a statement on June 6. “This is one more step in allowing us to put this tragic episode behind us and return to our normal family life. We extend thanks to all of those who have been praying for us and who have supported us through this trying ordeal and praise to God for His mercy and grace.”
Isiah apparently wanted to get a closer look at the Gorilla World exhibit at the zoo, so in order to do so, he snuck away from his mom and siblings. The youngster proceeded to scurry under a rail, through wires and bushes, and over a moat wall — all to try and get into the enclosure, according to the zoo. But he ended up slipping and falling down a steep cliff for about 10-12 feet, landing in a moat at the bottom!
Once bystanders started screaming, Harambe came out from a cave to see what was happening. Of course, what happened next is bittersweet: after the gorilla came into contact with the boy, zoo officials shot the gorilla in order to protect the child.
But many have spoken out, including Jane Goodall, Pamela Anderson, and Kaley Cuoco, saying that Harambe did NOT have to die. “It looked as though the gorilla was putting an arm round the child — like the female who rescued and returned the child from the Chicago exhibit,” Jane wrote in an email dated May 29. SO sad!
The zoo plans to reopen its Gorilla World on June 7 with a higher, reinforced barrier.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — do you think Michelle SHOULD have been charged? Sound off!