Cleveland Mom Dangles Toddler Over Cheetah Pit At Zoo and Then Drops Him Into Pit

220px-Cheetah_KrugerWe have yet another tough case of how to handle a parent who seems devoid of basic sense, let alone basic instincts. The mother reportedly dangled her two-yera-old boy over a railing at a cheetah pit and then accidentally dropped him. Fortunately, the cheetahs did not attack but the boy’s leg was hurt.

An adult reportedly jumped into the pit and retrieved the toddler as people screamed. The Cleveland Fire Department said that the mother was holding another child when the boy fell.

The zoo closed the cheetah exhibit for the remainder of the day and said it would press charges against the boy’s mother for endangering his welfare.

Unfortunately, it is actions like this mother’s action that has prompted zoos to put additional barriers between observers and animals. The lowest common demoninator tends to drive safety measures, which can increase the distance or barriers for people to see these animals.

The question now becomes whether this should be charged as criminal endangerment and what should happen in terms of custody. As frustrating as it is to see such moronic conduct (and I have personally seen the same behavior at zoos), this can be a brief moment of stupidity as a mother is managing two struggling kids. It is not like the idiots who taunted a tiger in San Francisco until the tiger attacked. A criminal charge could result in limitations or even denial of custody for her children. I, like many, feel anger at reading about such senseless conduct involving children, but I would like to know more about how clear it was that the mother was dangling the child over the railing. It is a question of stupidity versus criminality.

What do you think?

56 thoughts on “Cleveland Mom Dangles Toddler Over Cheetah Pit At Zoo and Then Drops Him Into Pit”

  1. After reading about this in some other publications, the Cheetahs come off as first in intelligence. They probably realized that to get involved would mean getting shot, perhaps several dozen times depending on the flow of adrenaline.

  2. A hero of mine recently died in Saint Louis. There has been no obit. Back in the old days there was this group of uppity people who belonged to a bigot group and they held a parade and big party for selves. The head was The Veiled Prophet. He kept his identity unknown under the Veil. Then in 1972 a great guy named Percy Green and a co activist named Gina Scott undid him and brought down the group. They went to the Veiled Prophet Ball and Gina climbed into the top of the stage overhang. Then she slide down a cable and landed next to the Veiled Prophet and ripped off his mask. Gina was a hero in my book. She and Percy got arrested. For those of you in the legal community there is a case out there which gets cited a lot. McDonnell Douglas v. Green. Google it.
    Percy is about 77 and still an active activist. Gina died a few days ago. She will be remembered.

    1. Bitchin Dog

      An Obit lolol I graduated in 1972 and the whole Veiled Prophet thing made me sick and so does Monsanto Co. It is literally a Blight on the Landscape

      As late as the early 1960s, Jews were excluded not only as members but as guests. As the culmination of protests organized by Percy Green and the civil rights group Action Committee to Improve Opportunities for Negroes (“ACTION”), on December 22, 1972, in Kiel Auditorium, Gena Scott slid down a power cable and unmasked the Prophet, who was Monsanto Company executive vice president Tom K. Smith, according to the St. Louis Journalism Review[6] (though the papers at the time claimed that the unmasking was too brief to allow for identification). Subsequently, Scott’s car was bombed, and her apartment vandalized numerous times. The incident is the subject of Lucy Ferriss’s memoir, “Unveiling the Prophet” (Ferriss’s aunt, Ann Chittenden Ferriss, had been the 1931 Queen of Love and Beauty). The unveiling of the Prophet was the most dramatic disruption in ACTION’s long campaign (1965-1976) to encourage the many CEOs in the VP Organization to hire more minority workers, and even to disband the organization so that public and private funds could be spent on worthier projects. Spencer sees the event as a crucial moment in a long process of disintegration of the civic unity and class harmony that the VP Fair claimed to celebrate. Indeed, according to Spencer, by the late 1970s, the wives and daughters of the elite, for whom the event constituted a sort of marriage-market, had become resistant to its inherent sexism.[7] Even members of the VP Organization itself began to express distaste: William Maritz, a one-time Veiled Prophet himself, reported, “‘A lot of members’ in the late 1970s ‘felt uneasy with the social connotations’ and that ‘people were saying ‘get that godamned ball off of television, don’t force that on the community.”

      The subversive act brought to the fore what Spencer said had been the classist underpinnings of the event from its inception. Only in 1979 did the Veiled Prophet Organization admit its first black members, and in 1981, fair officials were confronted with accusations of racism when they closed the Eads Bridge to pedestrian access from mostly black East St. Louis. According to Ronald Henges, “People just didn’t want other people flaunting their wealth and their position.”[8] The event lies behind the present-day Fair St. Louis, held on the riverfront, which began as the “Veiled Prophet Fair” in 1974, and was renamed to delete all reference to the “Veiled Prophet” in 1992.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veiled_Prophet_Ball

      Yes Big Fat Mike and you wanted to know what Jews and Country Clubs have to do with the Gays being locked out of Businesses because it’s against the “religion” of the owners to “bake a cake” because of all of everyone here’s perversion of the 1st Amendment.

      Amendment I

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  3. I also think that the parents should undergo parenting classes rather than jail time. Although this does seem like criminal negligence, it was hopefully a one time lapse in judgement. As long as an investigation proves this was a one time occurrence, and not a pattern of indefensible poor parenting, then the children would fare better with their family intact than going into a broken foster care system.

    This also reminds me of years ago when I arrived at a private barn where I boarded my off-the-track horse, to discover a family in one of the stalls. They had seen the barn from the freeway, and driven around the neighborhood until they found it and drove down someone’s driveway. This was a barn in someone’s backyard, and clearly not a rental barn. They just randomly picked a horse, opened the stall door, left the gate wide open, and put their daughter, who looked about 2, on a mare’s back, with no halter or anything, taking pictures. They were right next to the stall of an Appaloosa mare who was the worst kicker I have ever seen in my life. I told them it was very dangerous, the mare could just take off with their daughter right out that gate, and to leave, and they got very offended. But what would have happened if the child was hurt? The mare’s owner would probably have been sued. It’s common in the horse world.

  4. This reminds me of the time Michael Jackson dangled one of his little children over a balcony so the paparazzi far, far below could see him.

    The problem I see in general is that parents make irresponsible choices, and then sue the venue when there are consequences. The mountains near us have “No Snow Play” signs all over the mountain because of law suits. While waiting in line to go on a sled ride, there were signs posted literally declaring that children were prohibited from playing in the snow they were standing on. Do you know how impossible that is for parents to explain to young children? Let me tell you from personal experience that your child will look at you like you’re barking mad. There were squabbles breaking out everywhere while parents fruitlessly held struggling children up in the air, admonishing them “not to play. We’re here to have fun on this inner tube ride only.” Employees explained that kids have run in front of the inner tube sled and gotten knocked down, and the parents have sued. If a kid gets hurt by a snowball, the parents sue. If anyone runs in the snow and slips and falls, the parents sue. No one wants to take personal responsibility for their own actions or their own kids.

    So that is likely why the zoo is going on the offensive and pressing charges. They have likely been sued in the past, and want to head off any attempt at the parents suing them for their child’s injury and trauma.

    You would think that we have some shred of evolutionary instinct for survival of our species to think that dangling your precious child over a cage with predators would not be a good idea, but that is a surprisingly common occurrence. One may recall the moving story of a silver back gorilla protecting a hurt toddler whose mother lifted him over the railing and he, too, fell in. The silverback stroked the child’s back and held off the more aggressive, younger males.

    Luckily, this happened over a cheetah enclosure, and cheetah attacks on humans are not common. There was a terribly tragic ending to a similar fall over African Wild Dogs that ended with the child savaged to death while the mother just looked on. At least this time the father jumped in right away so his size likely helped, because the cries of a wounded child would incite the curiosity of almost any predator.

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