Mom of Boy Who Fell in Gorilla Enclosure Says God Protected Her Baby

People stand outside the Cincinnati Zoo where Harambe the gorilla was shot and killed.
People stand outside the Cincinnati Zoo where Harambe the gorilla was shot and killed. (Reuters)

Michelle Gregg's son somehow ended up in the gorilla pit at the Cincinnati Zoo. Within moments, first responders shot and killed Harambe the gorilla, which sparked outrage around the world.  

In a Facebook post, Gregg praised God for her child's safety.  

"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," she wrote. "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 ..." 

The child fell into the zoo enclosure last week. The zoo's first responders shot and killed Harambe the gorilla as the animal neared the child.  

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Witnesses have split reactions, with some saying "There was nobody getting that baby back from the gorilla," while others claim the gorilla was protecting the boy and holding his hand. 

Despite harsh reactions, the zoo director says if he had to do it over, he would make the same call to shoot the gorilla.  

"We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child's life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made by our Dangerous Animal Response Team," said Zoo Director Thane Maynard. "Our first response was to call the gorillas out of the exhibit. The two females complied, but Harambe did not. It is important to note that with the child still in the exhibit, tranquilizing the 450-pound gorilla was not an option. Tranquilizers do not take effect for several minutes and the child was in imminent danger. On top of that, the impact from the dart could agitate the animal and cause the situation to get much worse." 

The shooting enraged hundreds of thousands, who now call for #JusticeForHarambe. More than 334,000 signed a petition demanding Gregg be held responsible for the gorilla's death, as well as ask for authorities to investigate the Gregg home.  

"This beautiful gorilla lost his life because the boy's parents did not keep a closer watch on the child. We the undersigned believe that the child would not have been able to enter the enclosure under proper parental supervision," the petition reads

"We the undersigned feel the child's safety is paramount in this situation. We believe that this negligence may be reflective of the child's home situation. We the undersigned actively encourage an investigation of the child's home environment in the interests of protecting the child and his siblings from further incidents of parental negligence that may result in serious bodily harm or even death."

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