Cincinnati Zoo gorilla incident: 5 things to know

The Gorilla World exhibit remains closed at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden after a child fell into the enclosure Saturday and zookeepers were forced to shoot and kill a western lowland gorilla named Harambe.

Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard responded to questions and provided an update to the public Monday afternoon.

Maynard said nearly the entire zoo staff showed up Monday morning to share memories of “Handsome Harambe,” a teenaged gorilla that the zookeepers were planning to use for breeding the endangered species.

Maynard said they do not plan to pursue charges against the family of the boy who breached the gorilla exhibit, which is slated to reopen to the public by the weekend.

Zoo officials have said this was the first time the public barrier at Gorilla World had been breached since it was opened in 1978.

5 Things to know about the gorilla incident at the Cincinnati Zoo

  1. Boy, 3, breached a public barrier and fell approximately 15 feet into the gorilla enclosure
  2. Harambe, a 17-year-old silverback, approached and handled the child, at one point dragging him through water
  3. Zoo officials decided to fatally shoot the gorilla because the child's life was in danger
  4. Boy was treated and released from Children's Hospital Medical Center that evening
  5. The incident has prompted debates revolving around animal rights and whether the child's parents should be charged