Michelle Gregg from Weston, Ohio — who shares the same name as the mother of the child who fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo — is finding herself the target of online abuse.
This comes after panicked zoo visitors watched helplessly as a 400-pound gorilla picked up and dragged a four-year-old boy who fell into a shallow moat on May 28.
Fearing for the boy’s life, the zoo’s dangerous-animal response team shot and killed Harambe, the 17-year-old great ape.
The incident has caused an uproar online. Gregg shared the messages she received from strangers calling her a bad mother and writing that her children should be taken away.
Zoo officials said the boy climbed through a barrier at the Gorilla World exhibit and dropped five metres into the moat Saturday afternoon. He was in there for about 10 minutes.
Zoo director Thane Maynard said the gorilla didn’t appear to be attacking the child but was “an extremely strong” animal in an agitated situation.
He said tranquilizing the gorilla wouldn’t have knocked it out immediately. Many people online have said they are upset about the killing of a member of an endangered species.
The boy’s mother — also named Michelle Gregg — appears to have shut down her Facebook account but a Facebook group called I support Michelle Gregg is active. Gregg responded on the page:
With files from the Associated Press.