Animal protection watchdog blames zoo for gorilla incident, files federal complaint

Animal rights group investigation (VIDEO)

AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) - An international animal protection watchdog group is blaming the Cincinnati Zoo in the shooting and killing an of endangered gorilla over the weekend.

SAEN, or Stop Animal Exploitation NOW, says the zoo violated the animal welfare act in a press conference outside the zoo on Tuesday.

The non-profit group based in Cincinnati says it will make public inspection reports and other documentation which, "strongly suggests the Zoological Society of Cincinnati is negligent."

Group spokesman, Michael Budkie, says the group has officially filed a complaint to the USDA and is asking for the maximum federal penalty of $10,000 per infraction/per animal.

"Physical barriers are not adequate at the Cincinnati Zoo to keep the public out of the enclosures," said Budkie.

Harambe, a Western Lowland Gorilla, was shot dead after dragging a 3-year-old boy who wandered into the animal's exhibit.

The incident made international news, and now activists are banning together in support of the animal by creating a petition to pass '"Harambe's Law."

SAEN said on Tuesday that if the federal complaint is rejected, it will consider taking legal action against the zoo.

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