CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden will reopen phase one of the renovated Gorilla World after it was closed last fall for construction.
The newly-renovated habitat will open nearly one year after zoo staff shot and killed Harambe, a 17-year-old male Silverback, who dragged a 3-year-old that fell into the habitat on May 28, 2016.
The gorilla habitat was open last summer after the incident. It has been under construction since last fall, and its first set of modifications will open in early June.
“When Gorilla World opened in 1978, it was a state-of-the-art facility," said Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo director. "It has been well maintained over the years and still provided a great environment for our gorillas."
Some of the new modifications include an increased usable land space, a more energy-efficient stream and waterfall, new random rolling hills, new landscaping and an improved space for colobus monkeys.
Other modifications include a modernized living space for the gorillas that provides more area for them to move around.
“Our involvement in international gorilla conservation and concern for gorilla well-being at our zoo and everywhere informed our decision to expand and revitalize,” Maynard said.
The second-phase of the modifications, which will include a new indoor facility, is set to be completed in the fall.