The world was stunned when video emerged of a 4-year-old boy falling into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Zoo directors ultimately made the decision to kill the 17-year-old animal, fearing for the baby’s life.
Now outrage over the animal’s death has put the parents of the boy in a harsh spotlight.
Mother Michelle Gregg, 32 and father Deonne Dickerson, 36 share four children together.
According to The Daily Mail, Gregg, who is the administrator at a Cincinnati pre-school, wrote a Facebook post expressing her feelings about the incident:
“I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers today. What started off as a wonderful day turned into a scary one. For those of you that have seen the news or been on social media that was my son that fell in the gorilla exhibit at the zoo. God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him. My son is safe and was able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes….no broken bones or internal injuries. 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. Accidents happen but I am thankful that the right people were in the right place today. Thank you to everyone that helped me and my son today and most importantly God for being the awesome God He is.”
While Gregg is feeling a sense of gratitude, some critics are calling for her to be prosecuted for negligence. Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephan Saunders said that he is not aware of any intention to press charges.
Deidre Lykins, a witness of the whole ordeal, defended Gregg saying “Ms. Gregg was calling out for her son and had just been next to him when he disappeared,” reports The Daily Mail.
She even took to Facebook saying, ‘This mother was not negligent and the zoo did an awesome job handling the situation!’
Despite eyewitness accounts, a lot of people are still calling for justice–feeling the mother should take the brunt of the blame.
It was impossible for everyone to win in such a difficult situation. Unfortunately, the gorilla had to pay the ultimate price. Hopefully action will be taken at the zoo to prevent further tragedies.