When A Boy Fell Into A Zoo Enclosure And A Gorilla Saved Him
Unlike what happened last week when a young boy fell into the gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati zoo — prompting the people there to shoot and kill Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, in order to save the boy's life, — a similar incident in 1996 had a very different outcome
Now whether you believe if Harambe was trying to protect the young boy, as many have claimed, or that he would have ended up harming him, as contested by others, the fact remains: Harambe is dead, the young boy is alive.
And while everyone is still debating about rights and wrong, there is one story from 20 years back about a similar incident that has resurfaced.
It's about when a toddler slipped from his mother's arms and fell into a zoo enclosure at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois. He fell more than 15 feet into a pit holding several gorillas. It was a horrifying sight, one which made everyone watching the scene scream.
However, what happened next was nothing short of EXTRAORDINARY!
While stunned spectators and employees looked on, an eight-year-old female gorilla named Binti Jua, picked up the toddler's unconscious body, scooped him under her arms, and carried him to safety before placing him under the care of paramedics.
According to a report by WGN-TV, zoo workers who witnessed the 19 August, 1996 incident said Binti Jua mothered the toddler for several minutes while toting her own 17-month-old baby on her back. The rescue, they said, was an image they will never forget.
“She picked up the boy, kind of cradling him, and walked him around,” zoo spokeswoman Sondra Katzen told the Chicago Tribune back in 1996. Katzen added that the boy was “was alert and crying when the paramedics came and got him.”
The boy, whose name was not released, had a broken hand and minor cuts, but he recovered, WGN-TV reported.
Watch this video that shows the incident from 1996 along with commentary from people who helped raise Binti Hua. The gorilla can be seen carrying the limp toddler while zookeepers spray water from above to keep the other gorillas in the exhibit from interfering: