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Gorilla Rescues Toddler Who Fell Into Zoo Exhibit

August 18, 1996|Associated Press

BROOKFIELD, Ill. — A toddler who fell into a gorilla exhibit at the Brookfield Zoo on Friday afternoon was rescued by a female gorilla who cradled the child and brought him to zookeepers.

The boy, 3, injured his head falling 18 feet onto concrete in an area with seven gorillas. He was still alert when taken to a hospital, but was listed in critical condition later.

Binti, a 7-year-old female gorilla with a baby gorilla on her back, picked up the child, cradled him in her arms and placed him near a door where zookeepers could retrieve the boy, said zoo spokeswoman Sondra Katzen.

Katzen said she did not know how the child got over a 3- or 4-foot railing. She said she believes the boy had run ahead of his mother.

It was the first time anyone had fallen into the gorilla pit in its 14 years at the zoo, she said.

Loyola University Medical Center spokesman Michael Maggio said the boy was in critical condition. He said that he did not know what injuries the child sustained and that his parents were not available to comment.

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