Cincinnati Zoo Update Police Investigation

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Video Gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo

Cincinnati Zoo Update

Cincinnati police are zeroing in on the parents of the 3-year-old boy who fell into Harambe the gorilla’s enclosure … a strong sign they could still be charged with a crime.

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According to TMZ.com Cincinnati PD is reviewing “the actions of the parents/family that led up to the incident.”

Cops make it clear they’re NOT focusing on the Cincinnati Zoo — since that falls under the United States Department of Agriculture’s jurisdiction.

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Critics have called for the parents — Michelle Gregg and Deonne Dickerson — to face negligence charges … blaming them for setting in motion the chain of events that led to Harambe’s death.

Dickerson was not at the zoo when it all went down.

Animal rights activists continued to protest Monday over the death of Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo.

In case you missed it:

On May 28, 2016, Harambe, a 17-year-old, 200-kilogram (440 lb) male critically endangered silverback gorilla, was fatally shot by zoo officials after a four-year-old boy slipped into the enclosure where Harambe was. Zoo director Thane Maynard stated, “The child was being dragged around … His head was banging on concrete. This was not a gentle thing. The child was at risk.” The shooting was controversial, with some observers stating that it was not clear whether or not Harambe was likely to harm the child, and others calling for the boy’s parents and/or the zoo to be held accountable for the gorilla’s death. Police investigated possible criminal charges while the parents of the boy defended the zoo’s actions. The incident was filmed by a bystander, and the incident received global publicity with celebrities, experts and even politicians weighing in.

Zookeepers shot and killed a rare gorilla on Saturday after a 3-year-old boy slipped into its enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Harambe was a 17-year-old western lowland gorilla.

A silverback gorilla is the mature, experienced male leader of a group of mountain gorillas in the wild. Named for the silver saddles across his back, the silverback is responsible for the safety of his group. A group of gorillas, also called a “troop,” can contain from 5 to 30 gorillas. The silverback decides where the troop travels, where it forages for food, where it will rest and where it will sleep at night.

Silverbacks are very large. When they stand upright, they are from 5.5 to 6 feet tall and weigh as much as 350 pounds. Females typically are no taller than 5 feet and weigh as much as 200 pounds. The silverback’s ears look small for its head. Males have a large bony crest on the tops of their skulls and back, which helps support their jaw muscles and teeth. The bony crest gives their heads a conical shape. Females have the same crest as well, but it is not as pronounced as it is in males. Silverbacks also are very hairy; they are the hairiest of all gorilla species. Their hair is long and thick, and helps to insulate them at high elevations. Their arms are shorter than the arms of lowland gorillas, and their legs are short in comparison to their arms. Silverbacks get their silver saddle at around 12 years old. Younger males who don’t yet have the silver saddle are called “blackbacks.”

Despite their formidable size and strength, mountain gorillas are quite gentle and even shy. They are very social animals, but within their own tight-knit, nomadic troops. They show each other affection, often hugging and playing with each other, much like humans do. Also like humans, mountain gorillas laugh and even throw things when they get angry. Although they typically are peaceful, younger males from other troops may challenge a silverback. To ward off unwanted gorillas, the silverback will beat his chest with cupped hands, scream and bare his teeth, and charge at the intruder. Silverbacks also may break off branches from a tree and shake them at intruding gorillas.

Western lowland gorillas are found in Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. They are also found in the Central African Republic. Both Eastern lowland and mountain gorillas live in the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda.

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