gorilla death

CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO

They’re the largest of the great apes.

Imposing and impressive, gorillas inspire fear and admiration.

But local researchers say they also serve as models of gentleness and family harmony.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look at Ohio’s role in gorilla conservation and visit the gorillas in our midst.

The Cincinnati Zoo's gorilla exhibit is re-opened with new safety precautions.

The exhibit has been closed since May 28, when a 3-year-old boy got into the enclosure.  Zoo staff shot and killed a gorilla to rescue the toddler.  Zoo Director and WVXU contributor Thane Maynard says the zoo installed a new rope fence and three surveillance cameras.

TANA WEINGARTNER / WVXU

Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters has decided not to press charges against the family of the 3-year old child who fell into the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla exhibit. That resulted in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old endangered gorilla last week, leading to an outcry from animal rights groups and local citizens.

Deters says while the gorilla’s death is unfortunate, the child’s safety is more important.