*According to a number of witnesses, a Cleveland woman was seen dangling her 2-year-old son over the Cheetah railing at the Cleveland zoo before he fell about 10 feet into the exhibit, zoo officials said.
Though the toddler’s parents jumped in and pulled the kid out within seconds on Saturday afternoon, he was taken to the local hospital to be checked out. Cleveland Fire Department spokesman Larry Gray says he was treated at a hospital for a few bumps and bruises, but he was found to be OK .
After talking to witnesses who claim to have seen the woman holding the child over the exhibit railing, Kuhar said in a statement, “While this incident is disturbing to everyone, we are glad injuries were not any more severe.”
Cleveland Metroparks plan to seek child endangering charges against the mother on Monday, he said.
You may recall a similar incident at a Pittsburgh zoo in 2012 where a child died after being mauled when he fell into a wild African dogs exhibit. The boy had loosened from his mother’s grasp and fell into the enclosed exhibit below.
The boy’s parents sued the zoo, saying it had been warned about other parents who routinely lifted children onto the railing. But the zoo counter-sued, arguing the boy’s mother was to blame for his death, because she lifted him atop the railing so he could get a better look into the exhibit.
A settlement was reached in the case last year.
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