People around the world are upset that zoo staff shot and killed Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, after a 3-year-old boy snuck into the gorilla enclosure on Saturday. Because the gorilla grabbed the boy, zoo director Thane Maynard said they had no choice but to put the gorilla down for the boy's safety.
With so many people blaming the boy's mother for not preventing him from slipping past the barrier, her workplace came to her defense Tuesday.
The boy's mother works at a headstart center -- we are not disclosing the name or the location because of the backlash against her -- but WCPO went there looking to talk to people who know her.
They put out this statement instead. We have omitted all names.
"The tragic event that happened at the Cincinnati Zoo over the holiday weekend hit very close to home. The child who made his way into the gorilla enclosure is the son of our site manager ... [She] is home with her son as he recovers from his injuries.
"[The staff] is thankful that he is safe. And, with the rest of the world, we are mourning the loss of the Cincinnati Zoo's beloved silverback.
"Our focus today, and every day, remains with our preschoolers. We ask the both the media and the public respect our learning environment and the privacy of our staff and families."