Gorilla exhibit to reopen next week with new barrier fence

Boy falls into gorilla exhibit (VIDEO)
The new exhibit barriers. (Provided by Cincinnati Zoo)
The new exhibit barriers. (Provided by Cincinnati Zoo)
The exhibit has been closed since last May 28. (FOX19 NOW)
The exhibit has been closed since last May 28. (FOX19 NOW)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is bulking up barriers around Gorilla World after a child fell into the exhibit last week.

Zoo officials announced the changes Thursday and said Gorilla World will reopen to the public on Tuesday, June 7.

A new 3.5 foot barrier railing will surround the exhibit. It has wood beams at the top and on the bottom with knotted rope netting, zoo officials say.

The previous barrier 3-foot barrier fence passed multiple safety inspections by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, according to zoo officials.

The 3-year-old boy climbed the fence, crawled through bushes and dropped into a moat Saturday. Over a ten minute period, a male gorilla, known as Harambe, interacted with the child and dragged him through the water. The animal response team shot and killed the gorilla.

"Our exhibit goes above and beyond standard safety requirements, but in light of what happened, we have modified the outer public barrier to make entry even more difficult," said Thane Maynard, Director of the Cincinnati Zoo.

The boy's family has said he is recovering at home after being treated at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

The Hamilton County Prosecutor has begun reviewing the criminal investigation into the parents of the boy.

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