(CBS) — A paramedic who helped rescue a 3-year-old boy from the gorilla enclosure at Brookfield Zoo 20 years ago tells WBBM he thinks the Cincinnati Zoo made the right decision to kill the ape that dragged a child last month.

WBBM’s Steve Miller reports.

“We heard a heart-wrenching scream from a mother, and then shortly thereafter it was a very loud thud. And that thud was actually the youth hitting the floor of the gorilla exhibit,” says Jeff Bruno.

Bruno is now a captain-paramedic for the Kankakee Fire Department.  He was at Brookfield Zoo that day 20 years ago and helped pick up the child who fell into the gorilla enclosure there.

In that case, Binti Jua, the gorilla that encountered the child, cradled the injured boy and brought him to human keepers.

“Binti dropped him right there, where maybe she knew where the humans went in and out of.  She did us a favor by keeping him close by,” Bruno says.

Given the different circumstances in Ohio, Bruno says he thinks the Cincinnati Zoo made the right decision to put down its male gorilla. Accidents happen every day, he says, even when parents are watching.

“Twenty years ago, I don’t think there was a movement to incarcerate the parents. I don’t see the need for it,” Bruno says.

He says he kept in touch for about 10 years with the family who was at Brookfield Zoo. Now, he says, he’d like to see how they’re doing.

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