Friday marks 5 years since Harambe’s death at the Cincinnati Zoo after boy fell into Gorilla World exhibit

Harambe, the 17-year-old Western Lowland Gorilla.
Harambe, the 17-year-old Western Lowland Gorilla.(YouTube/CincinnatiZoo via WXIX)
Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 10:55 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - Friday marks the fifth anniversary of the fatal shooting of Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

On May 28, 2016, a 3-year-old boy fell into the animal’s enclosure and began to be dragged around by the Western Lowland Gorilla. Zoo officials made the difficult decision to shoot Harambe, which resulted in his death.

“We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child’s life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made by our Dangerous Animal Response Team,” Zoo Director Thayne Maynard said at the time.

The incident at the Cincinnati Zoo caused a public uproar from not only locals of the Queen City, but also from people globally.

The zoo improved the safety barrier surrounding the exhibit several weeks after the 17-year-old gorilla died.

It was followed months later by a public report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that indicated the barrier had not met federal standards on the day the child fell into the enclosure.

RELATED | Feds: Zoo’s gorilla barrier didn’t meet standards when Harambe was shot

Since then, the gorilla exhibit has undergone a two-phase renovation that ended in December 2017, which included modifications like an indoor space with floor-to-ceiling viewing glass, a resurfaced outdoor habitat, and more energy-efficient waterways.

A new gorilla named Mshindi was added to the exhibit shortly before the renovations were complete.

The project was planned in 2015, before Harambe’s death.

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