On Monday afternoon, an Ohio prosecutor announced he would not file charges against the parents whose child fell into Harambe the gorilla's zoo enclosure. The three-year-old boy reportedly climbed over a barrier before falling into the exhibit, and the Cincinnati Police Department was investigating whether the mother, who had three other children with her, acted negligently. Harambe, who dragged the boy around in the enclosure's moat, was shot and killed to protect the child's life.
There will also be no charges filed against the zoo, as investigators determined that the actions taken were necessary to save the life of a child. In describing his reasoning to not charge the mother, who has not been identified, Prosecutor Joe Deters said in a statement:
None of the witnesses interviewed described the mother as anything but attentive to her children. ... And if anyone doesn't believe a 3-year-old can scamper off very quickly, they've never had kids.
However, animal rights activists around the world have called for "justice for Harambe," and wrote in a petition, "This beautiful gorilla lost his life because the boy's parents did not keep a closer watch on the child. We the undersigned believe that the child would not have been able to enter the enclosure under proper parental supervision."
The Cincinnati Zoo director, Thane Maynard, defended the zoo's decision to shoot Harambe because of the power of the animal, and in response to activists who decried the action, said, "I think they know we saved that little boy's life. We stand by our decision."
According to CBS, the parents released a statement saying they expected the prosecutor to not press charges, and that "This is one more step in allowing us to put this tragic episode behind us and return to our normal family life."