A 2-year-old boy is recovering from injuries he suffered from falling into a cheetah exhibit at a zoo after his mother inexplicably dangled him over the enclosure.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo officials told NBC affiliate WKYC that the boy, and the boy’s parents who jumped in to rescue him, were unharmed by the cheetahs, who apparently weren’t interested in a snack.
According to the zoo’s executive director Christopher Kuhar, eyewitness accounts “point to the strong likelihood that the child was dangled” over the railing of the exhibit.
One of the witnesses, Michael Lurie, told the station that he was looking at the exhibit when he heard the sounds of screams.
“We were coming around the gorillas and we heard a kid screaming,” he said. “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.
“Everything happened so quick.”
Witness Terra Laurie said the cheetahs showed no interested in the humans suddenly thrust into their space.
“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,” she said. “And everyone else is screaming and they probably got scared.”
The toddler was taken to the hospital for leg injuries and is listed in stable condition.
Michelle Schwab, the child’s mother, was charged with child endangerment Monday in a Cleveland Municipal Court according to The Associated Press.
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