School closings and delays

‘Everyone started screaming:’ Witness describes gorilla dragging boy

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CINCINNATI– The woman who recorded video of a gorilla dragging a boy at the Cincinnati Zoo called it a horrific scene.

A 4-year-old boy fell 15 feet into a moat of the gorilla enclosure at the zoo on Saturday. The dangerous animal response team shot and killed a 17-year-old gorilla, named Harambe, after grabbed the child.

“Everyone started screaming,” said witness Kimberly Ann Perkins O’Connor. “I was still taking a still shot at the same time as the larger gorilla was attracted to the screaming. And he just came barreling to the edge of the moat.”

“He was suddenly down in the moat,” Perkins O’Connor told CNN. “He’s basically got the child in the corner… He dragged the child a little further down into the moat.”

Continuing coverage here

Perkins O’Connor recorded about 2 minutes of video of the incident and recalled trying to calm the crowd of onlookers. She said it appeared the 450-pound gorilla was caring for the boy.

“It almost looked like he was helping him. You know, pulled his pants up, stood him up,” Perkins O’Connor said. She soon saw the gorilla dragging the boy and pulling the child underneath of him.

“At one point, he had him between his legs, hovering over him and wasn’t budging,” Perkins O’Connor said. She said the animal picked up the boy by his calf and dragged him to another cave, out of the view of the crowd.

Perkins praised the zoo staff for clearing people from the area so small children didn’t see the horrific scene. The boy is now at home recovering, while many are calling for his parents to face charges.

The zoo said the safety barrier hasn’t been breached before. Officials for the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens will hold a news conference Monday afternoon.

WARNING: Some may find this video disturbing

Google Map for coordinates 39.143044 by -84.508580.

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.