Jeff Corwin On Gorilla Incident: "The Zoo Is Not Your Babysitter"

(Photo: Cincinnati Zoo)

Following the harrowing events of this past weekend involving a young boy who fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, many have chimed in on who is to blame for what happened. We've seen reports from Jack Hannah, among others and now animal conservationist Jeff Corwin has given a statement.

When asked by FOX25 in Boston for Corwin's thoughts, Corwin was very blunt with his opinion. "Zoos aren't your babysitter," he told the outlet. Corwin's main focus surrounded how the 4-year-old-boy fell into the gorilla enclosure in the first place.

He said the main lesson following the incident is that zoos and animals deserve more respect from visitors.

"Take a break from the cell phone, the selfie stick and the texting. Connect with your children. Be responsible for your children. I don't think this happened in seconds or minutes. I think this took time for this kid, this little boy to find himself in that situation. Ultimately it's the gorilla that's paid this price."

Corwin also addressed criticism against the zoo not using a tranquilizer dart.

"It can take some significant time before an animal is sedated—as big as a 400 pound gorilla," added Corwin. "It can take anywhere from ten to fifteen minutes. It may take multiple shots. I think that's a risk they weren't willing to take."

Unfortunately, Zoo officials said the gorilla, a 17-year-old named Harambe, was dragging the boy around. They opted to shoot and kill the great ape.


Do you agree with Hannah's comments? Let us know in the comments below.