Charge filed against mom of child who fell into cheetah exhibit

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From WJW

CLEVELAND —  Charges have been filed against the mother of a 2-year-old boy who fell into the cheetah exhibit at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Saturday.

Fox 8 Cleveland reports the boy suffered a broken leg after dropping 10-12 feet into the Cleveland Metropark Zoo’s cheetah exhibit on Saturday afternoon. Michelle Schwab, 38, of Delaware, Ohio, faces a charge of child endangering in the case, FOX 8 reports.

“Unfortunately, we have a number of eyewitness accounts that point to the strong likelihood that the child was dangled over the rail,” Dr. Christopher Kuhar, executive director of the zoo, told CNN affiliate WEWS. Court documents allege that Schwab held the boy out over the protective barrier. He then fell into the enclosure and sustained a broken leg.

Kuhar says the child’s parents quickly went into the exhibit after the fall happened and that the cheetahs made no attempt to interact with the child or his parents.

The zoo’s cheetahs are in an outdoor exhibit attached to the primate, cat and aquatics building. The zoo’s website says they are fed a canine diet along with weekly bones and horse meat, chicken and rabbit.

Cheetahs are considered to be the world’s fastest land animal and are recognizable by the round black dots on their fur. Unlike other cats, the cheetahs claws are always out and do not fully retract.

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