CINCINNATI -- An incident involving a 3-year-old boy climbing into the gorilla exhibit Saturday at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden was the first time there has been a breach of any of the barriers at Gorilla World.
The zoo’s Dangerous Animal Response Team fatally shot Harambe, a 400-pound silverback, after he dragged the boy across the moat.
It was the first time the team had to kill an animal since the zoo opened in 1875.
Although the incident sparked controversy across the nation, this was not the first time a child had fallen into an exhibit at a zoo accredited by the American Zoo Association, nor was it the first time zoo officials killed an animal.
Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, Illinois: Aug. 16, 1996
A 3-year-old boy slipped away from his mother, climbed over a barrier and fell more than 20 feet into the gorilla enclosure at Brookfield Zoo.
A female gorilla named Binti Jua, with her own baby on her back, picked up the unconscious child and cradled him before carrying him to safety.
The boy spent four days in the hospital before he made a full recovery. Binti Jua still lives at Brookfield Zoo.
Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, Minnesota- Aug. 2, 2006
Five meerkats were euthanized at the Minnesota Zoo after a 9-year-old girl stuck her hand into the glass and one of them bit her.
The family of meerkats, including two parents and their offspring, were euthanized following the incident to be tested for rabies.
State policy dictates that an animal must be euthanized following an attack if the victim declines vaccinations for rabies.
According to zoo officials, the girl scaled a rock wall in order to stick her hand over the glass of the exhibit.