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Cops hand Cincinnati gorilla case over to prosecutors

911 calls released in Cincinnati gorilla incident 02:51

CINCINNATI -- A prosecutor has begun reviewing the investigation into the parents of a 3-year-old boy who fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, causing an animal response team to shoot and kill the primate, a spokesman said Thursday.

Frantic 911 calls from Cincinnati Zoo incident released 01:34

Friday is "the earliest" Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters will make a decision on charges, spokesman Triffin Callos said. Legal experts have told The Associated Press that a prosecution in the case seems unlikely.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports police didn't recommend charges against the mother, according to a source close to the investigation.

A Cincinnati police report identifies the boy's mother as 32-year-old Michelle Gregg, who works at a preschool near Cincinnati. The child's father isn't named in the report, and it's not clear whether he was at the zoo Saturday.

The boy's family has said he is doing well at home after being treated at a hospital Saturday evening. Police said he had scrapes to his head and knee.

Jeff Corwin on the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla controversy 07:07

"The child was alert and talking," the police report stated.

A spokeswoman said the family requests privacy and has no comment on the investigation.

Also Thursday, the zoo announced plans to reopen its Gorilla World exhibit next week with a reinforced, higher safety barrier.

Zoo spokeswoman Michelle Curley said the new barrier railing will be 42 inches tall with solid wood beams added to the top and knotted rope netting at the bottom. That's a half-foot higher than the steel railing barrier the boy apparently climbed over to get into the enclosure.

University of Dayton law professor Lori Shaw said child endangering cases are complicated and fact-specific. She said Ohio law requires that the defendant be found "reckless" and to have exposed a child to "substantial risk," or a strong possibility of harm.

The zoo has said the breach Saturday was the first in the exhibit's 38-year history.

Police released 911 tapes on Wednesday highlighting the confusion and panic in the moments when the boy plunged into the gorilla exhibit.

"He's dragging my son! I can't watch this!" a woman says in the 911 call on Saturday. As she pleads for help, she shouts at her son repeatedly: "Be calm!"

Trump weighs in on gorilla zoo shooting 01:00

A record of police calls shows nine minutes passed between the first emergency call about the boy falling into the enclosure and when the child was safe.

The police report states that witnesses said the gorilla initially appeared to be protecting the child, but after onlookers began screaming, he became "agitated and scared" and began dragging the child.

The zoo's dangerous animal response team shot and killed the gorilla within 10 minutes to protect the boy after he dropped some 15 feet into the exhibit.

The boy's family has expressed gratitude to the zoo for protecting his life.

Jack Hanna stands by zoo's killing of gorilla 09:59

A federal inspection less than two months ago found no problems with the gorilla exhibit, but earlier inspections reported issues including the potential danger to the public from a March incident involving wandering polar bears inside a behind-the-scenes service hallway.

At least two animal rights groups were holding the zoo responsible for the death of the 17-year-old endangered western lowland gorilla, charging that the barrier made up of a fence, bushes and a moat wasn't adequate.

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