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No criminal charges against boy's mother in gorilla incident

The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office announces why they will not charge the mother of a boy who fell into a gorilla exhibit Monday, June 6, 2016. (WKRC)

The prosecutor of Hamilton County announced he will not press charges against the mother of a boy who fell into a gorilla exhibit.

"If anybody doesn't believe a 3-year-old could scamper off quickly they don't have kids," said prosecutor Joseph Deters.

"Frankly, I don't know how he wasn't hurt."

The 3-year-old boy was captured on camera inside the exhibit, where he was dragged by a large male gorilla named Harambe.

"Had she been in the bathroom smoking crack and let her kids run around the zoo - that'd be a different story. But that's not what was happening here," Deters said.

The mother was with another adult friend and three other children at the zoo. Deters explained that after a number of interviews and a family visit, no charges were warranted.

"She was being attentive to her children by all witness accounts."

The family released a statement, explaining they expected this outcome.

"The family is very pleased with this decision; it is what we expected. This is one more step in allowing us to put this tragic episode behind us and return to our normal family life. We extend thanks to all of those who have been praying for us and who have supported us through this trying ordeal and praise to God for His mercy and grace."

The incident gained international attention as some expressed outrage that the 17-year-old animal was shot and killed by a special response team, concerned for the boy's safety.



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