Following the death of the beloved gorilla Harambe, many people have wondered -- what kind of parents would let their son fall into the pit at the zoo? Well, now we know.
After the actions of their three-year-old son ultimately led to the death of Harambe the Gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, Michelle Gregg and Deonne Dickerson have received much criticism and inquiries about their background and personal life (video below).
Dickerson, who has four children with Gregg, has been discovered to have a criminal history that extends more than a decade. Charges filed against the 36-year-old include burglary, drug trafficking, disorderly conduct, and kidnapping, according to the Daily Mail. Currently, he works at an industrial equipment supplier, and he and Gregg welcomed their fourth child together in January.
Gregg, the administrator of a preschool, has been the subject of many harsh comments on and off social media. While many people feel she was irresponsible, others argue that such an incident could have happened to anyone.
"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," she wrote on Facebook. "Accidents happen but I am thankful that the right people were in the right place today."
Thane Maynard, director of the zoo, stated the decision to kill the gorilla was not made lightly, as reported by WHIO.
“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,” explained Maynard. “Our first response was to call the gorillas out of the exhibit. The two females complied, but Harambe did not.”
Amanda O'Donoughue, a former zookeeper, said it was unlikely that the gorilla was trying to protect the child. She also explained that using a tranquilizer could have unintentionally caused the death of both the animal and the young boy.
"I have watched this video over again, and with the silverback's [posturing], and tight lips, it's pretty much the stuff of any keeper's nightmares," she explained on Facebook. "It was clear to me that he was reacting to the screams coming from the gathering crowd. Harambe was most likely not going to separate himself from that child without seriously hurting him first (again due to mere size and strength, not malicious intent)."
The child is doing well, as he "was able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes," according to Gregg.