The new barriers at Gorilla World are being raised 6 inches to 3.5 feet. (Provided by the Cincinnati Zoo)
Provided by Cincinnati Zoo
Over 10 minutes, the 400-pound gorilla interacted with the child and dragged him through the water. (Photo: YouTube/Watch Life)
The Cincinnati Zoo reopened its gorilla exhibit with new physical barriers Tuesday. (FOX19 NOW Photo/Robert Guaderrama)
Tribute to Harambe at the reopened Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla World exhibit (FOX19 NOW Photo/Robert Guaderrama)
AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) -
The Cincinnati Zoo reopened its gorilla exhibit with new physical barriers Tuesday.
This comes in response to the 3-year-old boy who gained access to the enclosure late last month, resulting in the killing of Harambe, a 17-year-old western lowland gorilla.
“This has been a difficult and emotional time for everyone at the Zoo, especially Harambe’s caretakers. We’ve never been through anything like this, and the experience has been surreal,” said Zoo Director Thane Maynard. “I see today’s reopening as the symbolic start of a healing process for our staff, our members and the Cincinnati community.”
The new barriers at Gorilla World are being raised 6 inches to 3.5 feet. It has wood beams at the top and on the bottom with knotted rope netting, zoo officials say. In addition to the barriers, three additional surveillance cameras have been installed.
The previous, 3-foot barrier fence passed multiple safety inspections by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, according to zoo officials.
The child climbed the old fence, crawled through bushes and dropped into a moat May 28.
“Many people have asked how our other gorillas are doing. Their caretakers have been telling us that they’re fine, but seeing them go about their usual routine this morning made all of us feel better,” said Maynard.
Since Harambe's death, zoo officials are asking the public for helping redoubling its efforts to support gorilla conservation. The Zoo is raising funds in Harambe’s honor to be donated to the Mbeli Bai Study.