CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 2: Visitors walk past the closed main entrance to the Cincinnati Zoo's Gorilla World exhibit days after a 3-year-old boy fell into the moat and officials were forced to kill Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland silverback gorilla June 2, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The exhibit remained closed as zoo officials worked to upgrade safety features of the exhibit. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
Matt Naham, Rare.us
May 28 marks a year since a child fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, causing zoo officials to shoot and kill Harambe, one of the apes.
Soon, fans of Harambe other gorillas will again be able to visit the famous ape’s former enclosure at the zoo’s Gorilla World.
Gorilla World has been revamped with new safety precautions and is set to reopen to the public in June. A second phase of renovations will be complete and opened in November.
Changes include new landscaping, an energy-efficient stream and waterfall and a resurfaced outdoor habitat.
A new indoor area will also allow guests to see the gorillas year-round.
“We launched a fundraising campaign to expand Gorilla World in 2015 and have come a long way since we broke ground on the project last fall,” zoo director Thane Maynard said in a news release. “We’re on track to complete the new indoor environment this fall and excited to get gorillas outside in a few weeks.
According to Cincinnati.com, fundraising for the project raised $12 million.
Maynard said Gorilla World, which opened in 1978, had been well-maintained over the years, but the zoo’s “involvement in international gorilla conservation and concern for gorilla well-being at our zoo and everywhere influenced (the) decision to expand and revitalize.”
“We wanted to make it better,” Maynard said.
The zoo installed new barriers at the exhibit after a 3-year-old boy fell into the gorilla enclosure. The Cincinnati Zoo is home to at least 10 gorillas.
Zoo officials say the new barriers include wooden beams and knotted rope netting.