A day after Ohio police announced that they will investigate the family of the boy who fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, prompting zoo staffers to shoot and kill a gorilla, the still unidentified family asked for donations to be made in the animal's memory.
"We continue to praise God for His grace and mercy, and to be thankful to the Cincinnati Zoo for their actions taken to protect our child," the family, who said the boy is "doing well," said in a statement emailed to The Washington Post.
"We are also very appreciative for the expressions of concern and support that have been sent to us. Some have offered money to the family, which we do not want and will not accept. If anyone wishes to make a gift, we recommend a donation to the Cincinnati Zoo in Harambe's name."
On Tuesday, Cincinnati police said that they will look into the actions of the boy's parents and family, not the operation, safety or actions of the zoo.
"After the review, we will determine if charges need to be brought forward," police spokeswoman Tiffaney Hardy said. "If it is determined charges need to be brought forward, we would then discuss it with the Hamilton County prosecutor's office."
According to CBS, the boy's mother has received death threats. Kara Carrero, an author who hosts a podcast called "Extremely Good Parenting," asked for "mercy" for the mother.
"I also know that as a mother of two and now almost 3 kids, they can slip away in a single instant," Carrero wrote in a blog post. "They dart between clothing racks, climb to the tops of trees, and seemingly disappear even when we're trying to pay attention and juggle life in general. It's easy to point fingers from behind a keyboard. It's easy to attack you because the mob mentality is that someone must pay and someone must be to blame. And it's easy to forget that, again, you are not the only party involved."
Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard said that the boy's breach of the gorilla exhibit's barrier was the first time a zoo visitor had ever entered the habitat, which is called Gorilla World. Gorilla World opened in 1978 and "was billed as the first 'bar-less' outdoor gorilla habitat in the nation," according to CBS.
"The exhibit is safe, the barrier is safe," said Maynard. He added that federal inspectors as well as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums routinely check the habitat.