A Year After Incident With Toddler, Cincinnati Zoo Gets New Gorilla Named Mshindi

September 19, 2017
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On Sept. 14, the Cincinnati Zoo announced that for the first time after losing Harambe in 2016, it has a new male gorilla.

The latest addition to the Cincinnati Zoo is named Mshindi (pronounced ma-shin-dee). The 29-year-old male western lowland silverback gorilla has been relocated from the Louisville Zoo and is already starting to make himself at home, according to a press release from the zoo.

“Mshindi has settled in nicely,” said Ron Evans, Cincinnati Zoo’s Curator of Primates. “We worked closely with Louisville Zoo’s gorilla staff to learn Mshindi’s trained behaviors for body presentations and health exams and to get familiar with his likes and dislikes.”

When working with highly intelligent animals like the great apes, it’s imperative for keepers from both zoos involved in a transfer to collaborate and exchange detailed information to ensure a smooth transition,” he added.

The Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla exhibit will be closed for renovations in October, but officials say that the gorillas will be housed in a new indoor facility set to open later this year.

In 2016, Harambe, was killed by zoo officials after a child had climbed into his enclosure. Zoo officials determined that the situation was life-threatening for the boy and went on to shoot the 17-year-old gorilla. “The Zoo security team’s quick response saved the child’s life. We are all devastated that this tragic accident resulted in the death of a critically-endangered gorilla,” the zoo’s director Thane Maynard said in the statement. “This is a huge loss for the Zoo family and the gorilla population worldwide.”

Harambe’s death inspired much outrage, and many memes.

Harambe Mount Rushmore pic.twitter.com/tLCw9exUoN

— Fred Delicious (@Fred_Delicious) July 20, 2016

Every time a bell rings an angel gets their wings pic.twitter.com/j3RguCzNsh

— nick zillier (@nzillier) July 28, 2016

Footage of the incident drew widespread attention, as it displayed the Gorilla dragging the little boy like a rag doll through the water.

According to Authorities, the boy climbed through a barrier and fell 10 to 12 feet into the gorilla exhibit moat, where he was dragged by the gorilla for about 10 minutes.

After the gorilla was shot, Zoo employees opened the gate to the enclosure and the child was retrieved by Firefighters.

In a statement on Facebook, Zoo Director Thane Maynard said

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.”

The boy was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center near the zoo and was treated for serious injuries that were not considered to be fatal.

The video has prompted an outrage on Social Media whereby the hashtag #JusticeForHarambe was used.

Many people said that Harambe should not have been shot dead, as he did not want to hurt the boy. Others are going as far as saying that the parents should be held responsible for the incident, as they should have been looking after the boy.

The hashtag #JusticeForHarambe was used.

A petition has also been signed by more than 60,000 people who call for the boy’s parents to

“be held accountable for the lack of supervision and negligence that caused Harambe to lose his life“.

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