Society

Mother Of Boy In Zoo Accident May Face Criminal Charges

| by Michael Howard
Michelle GreggMichelle Gregg

Things are going from bad to worse for the mother of the boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati zoo, resulting in the death of Harambe, a 17-year old Western lowland silverback gorilla.

Michelle Gregg has since been publicly identified as the boy's mother, and many people are saying she should be held responsible for the gorilla's death. There is even an investigation underway to determine whether Gregg should face criminal charges, according to Hollywood Life.

"We are investigating the interaction between the young boy and the parent that was with him at the time," said Lt. Steve Saunders of the Cincinnati Police. "We are investigating what led up to the boy getting into the enclosure. We have a lot of people to speak with and video footage to review."

The announcement comes on the heels of a number of petitions criticizing Gregg for negligence and calling for her to be held accountable. A petition on Change.org titled "Justice for Harambe" has been signed more than 430,000 times.

"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," the petition reads.

Adding to public outrage are the comments by various witnesses to the incident, who say that Gregg's son told her he wanted to go inside the gorilla enclosure beforehand.

"The little boy himself had already been talking about wanting to… get in the water," witness Kim O'Connor told the New York Daily News, according to Morning Ledger. "The mother's like, 'No, you're not, you're not."

It was reported that Gregg works as an administrator at a Cincinnati daycare called Little Blossoms Academy, raising further questions about how she could let her son get into the gorilla habitat.

The daycare's Facebook page has reportedly been flooded with hateful comments, according to Morning Ledger. Administrators have removed all comments and images having to do with Harambe's death.

Gregg has released a statement through Gail Myers Public Relations.

"We are so thankful to the Lord that our child is safe," she said. "He is home and doing just fine. We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff. We know that this was a very difficult decision for them, and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla. We hope that you will respect our privacy at this time."

Sources: Morning Ledger, Hollywood Life, Change.org / Photo credit: Facebook via Daily Mail

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