The Latest: Legislator: Ohio laws adequate in zoo shooting

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Posted: Jun 01, 2016 11:00 AM
The Latest: Legislator: Ohio laws adequate in zoo shooting

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Latest on the shooting of a Cincinnati Zoo gorilla after a child got into its enclosure (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

An Ohio legislator from Cincinnati says there's no reason to believe that a new law is needed for such situations as the killing of a zoo gorilla after a small child got into his enclosure.

State Sen. Cecil Thomas, D-Cincinnati, had said earlier he would look into possible legislation providing for fines or criminal charges for negligence resulting in the death of an endangered animal. He says in a statement to The Associated Press he has concluded that existing state laws are adequate.

Online petitioners have called for new legislation.

Thomas adds that he understands "that emotions are high after the tragic event" at the zoo Saturday. He says zoo officials made "a difficult decision to save the life of a child."

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8 a.m.

The family of the 3-year-old boy who got into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo says he is "still doing well."

The family released a statement Wednesday morning through a representative saying he just had a checkup by his doctor. They say they continue to "praise God," and are thankful to the zoo for "their actions taken to protect our child."

Zoo staffers shot and killed the endangered 17-year-old western lowland gorilla named Harambe on Saturday after concluding the boy's life was in danger.

The family expresses thanks to those expressing concern and support. It says some people have offered money and they recommend a donation to the Cincinnati Zoo in Harambe's name.

Spokeswoman Gail Myers says they have no comment on a Cincinnati police investigation into their actions.

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7:10 a.m.

While police in Cincinnati are investigating the child's parents and federal inspectors plan their own review, the Cincinnati zoo says it will look at whether it needs to reinforce the barriers even though it considers the enclosure more secure than what's required.

"The exhibit is safe, the barrier is safe," said zoo director Thane Maynard, who noted the exhibit is routinely checked by federal inspectors and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which also plans to investigate what happened.

The breach, the zoo director said, was the first time a visitor had entered the zoo's Gorilla World, which opened in 1978 and was billed as the first "bar-less" outdoor gorilla habitat in the nation.