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Police release 911 tapes from Cincinnati Zoo ape encounter: Video

Zoo officials shot and killed a 450-pound ape after a 3-year-old child fell into the park's gorilla enclosure

Harambe, a 17-year-oldReuters

The 911 call of a terrified mother who watched her young son fall into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo was released Wednesday afternoon.

The frantic call captured theterrifying early moments of the encounter, which ended with the 450-pound animal, named Harambe, being shot by park specialists.

“Hi, my son fell in the zoo exhibit of the gorillas,” the woman says. “Cincinnati Zoo, my son fell in with a gorilla, there’s a male gorilla standing over him, I need someone to contact the zoo.”

“Okay, we do already have this started, we do already have this started there, okay?” the dispatcher tries to reassure her.

“Be calm? Be calm? Be calm?” She replies. “He’s dragging my son, I can’t watch this.”

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You can listen to the full recording below.

"That child's life was in danger. People who question that don't understand you can't take a risk with a silverback gorilla -- this is a dangerous animal," Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard said in a news conference. "Looking back, we'd make the same decision. The child is safe."

The family said the child is fine and encourage those looking to donate money for his well-being instead donate it to the zoo in the ape’s memory, Reuters reported .

 
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