After report, family of boy in gorilla pen again thanks zoo

FILE – In this May 29, 2016, file photo, a visitor with a small child passes outside the shuttered Gorilla World exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Cincinnati. The director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Thane 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 family of the boy who slipped into a gorilla exhibit is expressing its appreciation to the Cincinnati Zoo in the aftermath of a federal report that found the exhibit hadn’t been in compliance with standards.

The zoo’s dangerous-animal response team concluded the 3-year-old boy’s life was in danger and fatally shot an endangered gorilla named Harambe, which led to mourning and criticism.

In a statement, the boy’s relatives say they appreciate the quick actions by zoo staff and “mourn with them the loss of Harambe.”

A U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman says although the zoo barrier previously passed inspections, the May 28 breach showed it was no longer effective. She says the zoo took quick and comprehensive corrective action in making the barrier taller and adding nylon mesh. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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