Child falls into Cheetah exhibit at Cleveland Zoo

CLEVELAND -- A child fell into the Cheetah exhibit at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Saturday.

The two-year-old boy fell into the exhibit around 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The parents of the child were able to get the toddler out of the exhibit.

According to the Cleveland Metroparks, the cheetahs made no attempt to interact with the child and parents at any time.

The child was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center with a leg injury. He is listed in stable condition.

When Michael Lurie came to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with his family, he didn't expect to see a two year old in the Cheetah exhibit.

"We were coming around the gorillas and we heard a kid screaming," said Lurie. "You saw how far the drop was and you just couldn't believe the kid didn't hurt himself from falling down on the ground. I'm looking at the cheetahs and then all I hear is the screams. Everything happened so quick."

Luckily, the worlds' fastest animal decided not to move as quick as the boy's family.

"I think they were just curious as to what was going on and why somebody was in the pen with them because it's not every day that somebody is just in the pen with them," said visitor Terra Lurie. "And everyone else is screaming and they probably got scared."

"I was just shocked," said Michael. "I didn't understand how the parents let the kid go over the thing."

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director, Dr. Christopher Kuhar says, "While this incident is disturbing to everyone, we are glad injuries were not any more severe."

Kuhar also said a number of eyewitnesses claim the child was held over the railing and then dropped.

Cleveland Metroparks plans to file charges for child endangering against the parents on Monday.

Follow WKYC's Wale Aliyu on Twitter at @WaleAliyu and on Facebook atFacebook.com/WaleAliyuTV


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