The dramatic call Michelle Gregg made to authorities after her son fell into a gorilla’s enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo was released Wednesday. Gregg was frantic as she pleaded with the dispatcher to send help, saying she couldn’t watch as the 450-pound gorilla dragged her son, Isiah, through the enclosure's water. Saturday's incident resulted in the death of the 17-year-old animal, which sparked national outrage.
Gregg, 32, can be heard saying: “My son fell in the zoo exhibit at the gorilla — at the Cincinnati Zoo. My son fell in with gorilla. There is a male gorilla standing over him.”
She briefly stops talking to the dispatcher to soothe her petrified 3-year-old. “Be calm, be calm!” Gregg says. The frantic mother then tells the 911 operator: “He’s dragging my son. I can’t watch this.”
In the background, a scared bystander is heard asking for help: “There’s a baby in the zoo at gorilla moat. Hurry, hurry, the gorillas are out. Oh, my God.”
Isiah escaped from the enclosure with minor injuries. Though many people said Harambe, a western lowlands gorilla, should have been shot will a tranquilizer dart instead of killed, zookeepers said it takes at least 10 minutes for the tranquilizer to work. Harambe might have become agitated after being stunned and could have potentially hurt the child.
The zoo is not under investigation, but Gregg is being looked at by police. “Consistent with department policies, the Cincinnati Police Department Personal Crimes Unit is closely reviewing the facts and circumstances that led to a 3-year-old boy falling in the Gorilla World enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo on Saturday, May 28, 2016. An update will be provided as soon as possible,” the Cincinnati Police Department said in a statement Tuesday. “This review is only regarding the actions of the parents/family that led up to the incident and not related to the operation or safety of the Cincinnati Zoo.”
Gregg and her family are cooperating with authorities, ABC News reported.
Click here to watch the full video of the incident — before Harambe was fatally shot.
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