Parents may be charged after toddler falls into cheetah pen

A US zoo is to seek charges against the parents of a toddler who fell into a cheetah pen - after they allegedly dangled him over the enclosure.

Reports said tragedy was narrowly avoided at the weekend after the two-year-old boy fell into the exhibit at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The cheetahs ignored the boy, whose parents climbed into the exhibit to get him out, zoo officials said.

"You could just hear the screams and all you could see was the adult that jumped in got the kid," Michael Lurie, a visitor to the zoo who witnessed the incident, told WEWS-TV. "Then somebody pulled him out."

The zoo planned to file child endangerment charges against the boy's parents on Monday, zoo officials said.

"Unfortunately, we have a number of eyewitness accounts that point to the strong likelihood that the child was dangled over the railing," said Christopher Kuhar, the zoo's executive director. There has been no comment yet from the child's parents.

Cleveland Fire Department spokesman Larry Gray told the Associated Press that the toddler was treated for bumps and bruises.

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