cheetah
(Wikimedia Commons)

Parents are due to be charged for endangering their two-year-old child after dangling him over a cheetah pit at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, before the child fell into the enclosure.

Luckily the boy escaped with only a minor leg injury after he fell and his parents managed to get to him before the cheetahs did. The child is now in a stable condition at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo executive director, Dr. Christopher Kuhar said: "While this incident is disturbing to everyone, we are glad injuries were not any more severe. Unfortunately we have a number of eyewitness accounts that point to the strong likelihood that the child was dangled over the railing."

On 13 April the zoo said it plans to prosecute the couple on charges of child endangerment.

Witness Michael Lurie expressed his shock when he saw the two-year-old in the Cheetah exhibit.

"We were coming around the gorillas and we heard a kid screaming. You saw how far the drop was and you just couldn't believe the kid didn't hurt himself from falling down on the ground. I'm looking at the cheetahs and then all I hear is the screams. Everything happened so quick. I was just shocked. I didn't understand how the parents let the kid go over the thing," said Lurie.