Zoo: Gorilla’s death drew attention, didn’t hurt attendance

FILE – In this June 7, 2016, file photo, Zoo Director Thane Maynard speaks during a news conference at the Gorilla World exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Cincinnati. Maynard said Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, that attendance wasn't significantly affected after a 17-year-old gorilla named Harambe was shot and killed May 28, 2016, when a 3-year-old boy fell into the gorilla's enclosure. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
FILE – In this June 7, 2016, file photo, Zoo Director Thane Maynard speaks during a news conference at the Gorilla World exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Cincinnati. Maynard said Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, that attendance wasn't significantly affected after a 17-year-old gorilla named Harambe was shot and killed May 28, 2016, when a 3-year-old boy fell into the gorilla's enclosure. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo’s director says the death of a gorilla that was shot when a 3-year-old boy got into its enclosure is still drawing attention but hasn’t significantly affected attendance.

The killing of the 17-year-old gorilla, Harambe, sparked outrage among some people. Zoo officials said they had no choice, given the danger the animal posed to the child.

Hamilton County commissioners said Monday they’re satisfied with the zoo’s response but want to see any internal reports or analyses about what went wrong.

Director Thane Maynard says it will provide that to the commissioners, who must approve a zoo levy before it appears on the ballot.

Maynard says attendance remained comparable to 2015 with about 1.2 million visitors this year.

The zoo has reopened its gorilla exhibit with a higher, reinforced barrier.

 

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