CINCINNATI (CBSNewYork.AP)– Zoo security officers killed a 17-year-old gorilla that had grabbed a small boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit moat, The Cincinnati Zoo’s director said.

Director Thane Maynard says the 3-year-old boy is expected to recover after being picked up and dragged by the gorilla Saturday for about 10 minutes. He was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

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Police had initially reported that the gorilla was tranquilized, but Maynard said the decision was made to shoot to kill to save the boy’s life. He calls the decision a difficult one, but the right one.

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A hospital spokesman says he has no information to release. Authorities haven’t released the child’s name.

The incident was reported around 4 p.m. The around the gorilla exhibit was closed off Saturday afternoon.

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