A Wood County woman has been barraged with hateful social media comments because she shares the same name as the mother of a 4-year-old boy who jumped into the Cincinnati Zoo's gorilla exhibit last weekend.
The Weston woman has never been to Cincinnati, but her Facebook page has been filled with 250 death threats and other negatives comments. The woman says she has replied kindly to each in hopes that everyone can move forward. Meanwhile, an animal rights group has filed a federal complaint against the zoo alleging the barriers around the exhibit are not safe. Michael Budkie is director of the group called Stop Animal Exploitation Now.
Public records show the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited the zoo nine times for violations of the Animal Welfare Act in the last three years. Two involved veterinary care were directly tied to the health or wellness of the animals, and seven dealt with other issues. The department says all were resolved, and it will determine whether the facility is currently in compliance with the law. The zoo's director maintains the barriers are adequate and officials were not negligent. The Michigan woman who recorded the now viral video of the incident says it was an accident. Kim O'Conner says there were things she saw which were too horrific to make public, including the animal tossing the child around.
Cincinnati police say no decision has been made on whether to charge the parents . The boy's family released a statement expressing gratitude to the Zzoo for protecting him.