Mom of child who fell into zoo cheetah exhibit off job as daycare worker

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The mother of a 2-year-old boy who fell into the cheetah exhibit at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Saturday is off her job at a Columbus daycare center while the incident is investigated.

Michelle Schwab, 38, of Delaware, Ohio, faces a charge of child endangering in the case.

Schwab works as an assistant director of a KinderCare facility in Columbus.

Colleen Moran, Sr. Communications Coordinator for Knowledge Universe, which runs KinderCare, issued the following statement:

“We were saddened to hear of Saturday’s incident at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo involving Michelle Schwab’s son, and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Ms. Schwab has been the Assistant Director at the Sawmill Road KinderCare in Columbus. She is currently home with her family, and will remain out of our center while this issue is investigated and addressed.

In addition to the agencies looking into this issue, we are looking into the incident further ourselves, as we closely examine issues involving the treatment of children by our employees, even if those incidents arise outside of our centers.”

Schwab’s son suffered a broken leg after he fell about 10 feet into the exhibit. Schwab’s neighbors told Columbus Fox affiliate WTTE that the boy is recovering at home in Delaware.

According to court documents, witnesses say Schwab held the boy out over the protective barrier.

The zoo said the cheetahs never made an attempt to interact with the boy.

Schwab is scheduled to appear in court in Cleveland on April 22.

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