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. Darren Smith said…

    I believe the zoo is pressing the matter to help shield itself from liability.

    As they should. Normal people, parents included, know what “barriers” mean in a zoo setting. Letting your kids run amok or dangling whatever is idiocy when in an area with wild animals. That barrier, fence or wall or series of same, plus a moot are there for a reason and it is NOT to relieve you of some sense of responsibility. Can I say “Duh” here?

    1. Aridog

      I can’t believe people are defending this idiot woman


  2. Mom: Clean your room.
    Boy: I don’t want to!
    Mom: Do we need another trip to the zoo?
    Boy: I’ll do it right away!

  3. This might resonate with anyone who ever lived in Saint Louis. Bob Kuban and The In Men. Lyrics:
    Haven’t you heard about
    The guy known as the cheater
    He’ll take your girl and then
    He’ll lie and he’ll mistreat her

    It seems every day now
    You hear people say now

    Look out for the cheater
    Make way for the fool hearted clown
    Look out for the cheater
    He’s gonna build you up
    Just to let you down

    All of you girls had better
    Stay inside your door now
    He’ll hurt you once
    Then turn around and
    Hurt you some more now

    While he’s out betraying
    You’ll hear people saying

    [Repeat CHORUS]

    That cheater took
    My baby away from me
    Yes, and now, I don’t mean maybe
    I’ll get her back, just wait and see
    Wait and see

    One of these days he’ll find a girl
    Who knows all about him
    She’s gonna break his carefree heart
    And go on without him

    And you’ll hear thereafter
    Above all the laughter

    Tough luck for the cheater
    Too bad for the fool hearted clown
    Tough break for the cheater
    Who used to build you up
    Just to let you down

    Tough luck for the cheater
    Too bad for the fool hearted clown
    Tough break for the cheater
    Who used to build you up
    Just to let you down

    Songwriters: KRENSKI, JOHN

    This band used to play this in Jackson Park in Berkeley, MO which is adjacent to Ferguson. The song was on the charts. We used to play it or sing it to the cheetah at the Saint Louis Zoo in Forest Park. Back when I was a human in a prior life.

    1. Barkin Dog Oh I mean Bitchin Dog

      lololol šŸ˜‰ That’s just what he sounded like

  4. Pogo,
    If she sues them over forcing her to get the procedure, would that be a tubal litigation?

  5. Wonka – we have had a spate of commenters using the “poisoning the well” technique of ad hominem attack. What is your reason for doing it?

  6. The cheetah in the San Diego Zoo has a golden retriever as a cell mate. It’s fun to watch the two play, and just hang out.

  7. DBQ

    You made my point. They were once used as hunting pets, with the operative word being HUNTING. While they may not typically be as aggressive as lions or tigers, they are still wild animals, once used to hunt other animals, so this toddler is lucky to have emerged from that pit alive. I would not credit his ultimate safety as being due to an ambivalence, on the part of the cheetahs, to attack a toddler. It’s more likely that they were simply not hungry at the time or were taking a nap.

  8. Cheetahs are actually pretty tame-ish and laid back cats. In Egyptian antiquity they were used as hunting “pets” or as assistance in hunting. Even currently they are often tamed as pets (as best they can be). Unless you are running from them, they generally are not aggressive

    Doesn’t mean that they ARE tame or that there isn’t danger. The kid was lucky his mom wasn’t dumping him into the tiger pit or the shark tank.

  9. Wonka

    I can disagree with happy and her comments without attacking her personally. I simply differ in my perception of what may have occurred here. We are all capable of doing that. It’s easy. No fear of having your comments, as you have mentioned, deleted. Just voice your viewpoint, without malicious or rude comments being leveled at the moderator or others, and I’m quite sure that you will find that all viewpoints are welcomed and appreciated here.

  10. happy

    While your theory about the cheetahs not attacking the toddler may sound nice, animals often seek out the frail and the helpless as prey. That’s just the way that it is. The only way to view this toddler’s safe rescue is either one resulting from sheer luck or divine intervention. Either way, the cheetahs did not choose to skip him as their afternoon snack because they had some mercy on him due to his age. It’s more likely that they had just been fed and were resting/snoozing.

    1. Bam Bam


      I thought Jungle cats were friendly and not feral

      (it was a joke)

      Just like this Blog can be at times.

  11. Some additional information on this story , as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer: the mother involved is an assistant manager at a Kindercare facility in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio (Delaware Oh), thus not a resident of Cleveland itself. The PD also reported that it was the parents who jumped into the cheetah pit to rescue the child, who suffered a broken leg ( fell 10-12 feet when dropped.

  12. Animals are very intelligent and probably knew that the child was a child.

    Unfortunately, like Gruber said “The people are stupid” and devoid f the most basic common or is that now uncommon sense.

  13. Did someone yank on Wonka’s willy? This ain’t no chocolate factory.

  14. Knowing the bratty behavior of most children in today’s world and their frequent tendency to mistreat animals, the zoo should be suing the woman for endangering their cheetahs.

    But, the kid was in no danger. Big cats, just like their domestic cousins, are often finicky eaters and are sensitive to the condition of their food. Some things, like spoiled children, you just can’t get big cats to eat. Even fresh kids will usually be avoided.

  15. Wonka

    Just curious. Why, if you have such contempt and utter disdain for those who contribute here, do you find it so very necessary to troll about and denigrate those who enjoy voicing their views? Seems like the normal response, with regard to one who purports to have so little respect for the site’s contributors, would be to find a place with like-minded individuals. Oh, yeah, that’s right, I did say the NORMAL response. Sorry, my bad.

  16. @NickS

    Oh, thank you! Did you notice there were two Cleveland stories today??? I was wondering if there was maybe something in the water, and then this came to mind. . .

    Lake Affects???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    Oh, rampaging cops are quite scary!
    And cheetahs and kids??? Here’s a theory!
    Perhaps they’re connected???
    Has someone infected. . .
    The water that comes from “Lake Eerie???”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  17. I believe the zoo is pressing the matter to help shield itself from liability.

  18. It looks to me like the mother selfishly wanted to quench her own thirst for risk taking. But instead of putting her own well being in danger she put her child’s well being in danger. The risk/reward of her conduct is perverse.

    She gets a cheap thrill if she holds onto her child while dangling him over a cheetah pit. If the presumably squirming kid slips out of her hands, however, then the child suffers the consequences (potential mauling or injury from the fall) of her poor judgment.

    The armchair psychologist in me wants to characterize her conduct as closer to sociopathic evil than stupid.

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