Animal Rights

Grandma Of Boy Who Fell In With Harambe Speaks Out

| by Sheena Vasani
Harambe the gorrilaHarambe the gorrila

The grandma of the Ohio boy who fell into Harambe' the gorilla’s enclosure reveals she does not believe the ape should have been killed.

She is the first family member of three-year-old Isaiah Gregg to speak directly to the media since the incident occurred, the Daily Mail reports.

Valerie Dickerson, 55, said she was “saddened” the animal was shot and killed.

“For me, I still think they could have gone another route though they said they couldn't. But mainly I just thank God my grandson is okay,” Dickerson said.

Yet she said she doesn’t blame the zoo.

“I have never been to that zoo so I really don't want to place any blame. It was just a freak accident and thank God it turned out okay,” she explained.

Dickerson added that her grandson -- who suffered a concussion -- will now undergo counseling as a result of the experience.

At the same time, she said the family is now doing better in general.

“Everybody's doing fine. We speak daily,” she said, referring to her son, thirty-six-year-old Deonne, and the boy's mother, thirty-two-year-old Michelle.

“We'll move forward. He'll receive counseling and life goes on. You just have to think positive thoughts,” Dickerson added.

Yvonne Dickerson, the boy’s great-aunt, shared similar sentiments.

“He's doing well,” she said. “That's God's child. He'll be okay, might be traumatized a little bit from floating in the water, that gorilla turning him over. A big thing like that happening, I'd be traumatized.”

However, Valerie admits that she found the video difficult to watch at first.

“It was upsetting. I had to have some family members come round and kind of compose me. It was devastating to watch,” she said.

The comments come as police finally released the 911 call Isaiah’s mother made the day the boy fell into the enclosure with the gorilla, CNN reports.

"Hi, my son fell in the zoo exhibit at the gorilla -- at Cincinnati Zoo," Michelle reportedly says, while repeatedly screaming, “Be calm!” to her son. "My son fell in with the gorilla. There's a male gorilla standing over him. I need someone to contact the zoo please."

“He’s dragging my son. I can’t watch this,” the mother adds before the call ends.

Sources: Daily MailCNN / Photo credit: Enterprise News and Pictures via Daily Mail

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