WATCH: Why kill a Gorrila to save a child – Protesters

TVC E. Animal rights activists continued to protest over the death of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo who was fatally shot so authorities could rescue a child who had fallen into the animal’s enclosure.

A petition called for the parents of the 3-year-old boy to be held responsible for the death of Harambe, a 17-year-old male Western lowland silverback gorilla.

The petition had garnered more than 138,000 signatures by Monday afternoon. Cincinnati police, however, said they had no intention of charging the family because they don’t believe a crime was committed.

Meanwhile, mourners attended a vigil for the ape, and the hashtag #JusticeForHarambe trended on Facebook.

The family of the 3-year-old released a statement Sunday night acknowledging the zoo’s loss and thanking its staff for their “quick action.” The boy was home safe and “doing just fine,” the statement said.

The animal rights group PETA criticized the Cincinnati Zoo for not having a second protective barrier around the gorilla habitat, and argued that wild animals shouldn’t be housed at zoos in the first place.

“Even under the ‘best’ circumstances, captivity is never acceptable for gorillas or other primates, and in cases like this, it’s even deadly,” PETA said in a statement. “This tragedy is exactly why PETA urges families to stay away from any facility that displays animals as sideshows for humans to gawk at.”

Julia Gallucci, a primatologist with PETA, also said in the statement that the gorilla was likely trying to nurture the tot.

“Gorillas have shown that they can be protective of smaller living beings and react the same way any human would to a child in danger,” Gallucci said.

“Consider Binti Jua, the gorilla who carried a child to a zookeeper’s gate,” Gallucci added, referring to a 1996 incident in which an 8-year-old female gorilla named Binti Jua protected a 3-year-old from other primates after the toddler fell into a gorilla den at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

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