The enclosure separating Harambe from the public was not in compliance with safety standards on the day a three-year-old boy slipped into his exhibit - before zoo keepers shot the gorilla dead - federal investigators have revealed.
A newly emerged report states Cincinatti Zoo's barrier between the public and gorillas did not meet with rules for housing primates.
Investigators also ruled that the zoo's dangerous-animal response team properly followed procedures after visitors to the attraction called 911 to report the child had fallen into the popular animal's enclosure.
A member of the response team had maintained the child was in "life-threatening danger" and that Harambe was killed to save the boy's life.
Two female gorillas were also in the enclosure when the boy fell in but zoo officials said only the 400lb male gorilla remained with the child.
Since the inspection, the zoo made the barrier taller and used nylon mesh to close any gaps.
It said there had been no earlier issues with the barriers, which were found to be compliant in earlier federal inspections.
The most controversial animal killings
The most controversial animal killings
1/6 Cincinnati Zoo worker shots and kills Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla
Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla was shot and killed by a Cincinnati Zoo worker after a three-year-old boy climbed into a gorilla enclosure and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe. The incident was recorded on video and received broad international coverage and commentary, including controversy over the choice to kill Harambe. A number of primatologists and conservationists wrote later that the zoo had no other choice under the circumstances, and that it highlighted the danger of zoo animals in close proximity to humans and the need for better standards of care
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
2/6 Walt Palmer (left), from Minnesota, who killed Cecil, the Zimbabwean lion (pictured here with another lion shot in Africa)
Walter James Palmer has been named by Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force as the shooter of Cecil, a 13-year-old prized lion. He is now wanted by Zimbabwe officials on poaching charges. The lion was protected and the subject of a decade long study by the Wildlife Unit of Oxford University in the UK. He was outfitted with a GPS collar and was killed in Hwange National Park. The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority and the Safari Operators Association said that two men were charged with poaching in connection to Mr Palmer
3/6 Kendall Jones hunting images
Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texas Tech university student, has provoked worldwide fury after posting pictures of herself smiling next to animals she hunted, including a lion, rhinoceros, antelope, leopard, elephant, zebra and hippopotamus
4/6 Rebecca Francis hunting images
Rebecca Francis, a huntress who has killed dozens of wild animals has been sent death wishes by furious social media users after a picture showing her lying down next to a dead giraffe was circulated. Rebecca Francis has a website and Facebook page dedicated to the animals she has killed in hunts across Africa and America. Francis, a prolific hunter who has also co-hosted the television show Eye of the Hunter, regularly posts pictures of herself posing next to dead bears, giraffes, buffaloes and zebras, among other animals. She uses a bow and arrow to kill her prey
5/6 The slaughter of Marius, an 18-month-old healthy giraffe in Copenhagen Zoo
Copenhagen Zoo made the controversial decision to euthanise a healthy giraffe named Marius, which was later dissected and fed to lions as visitors watched. The slaughter sparked a furious backlash from social media users and zoo staff have received death threats by phone and email. Soon after the incident, Copenhagen Zoo faced an international outcry once again after four healthy lions were put down
6/6 Swiss Dählhölzli zoo kills healthy brown bear cub
A Switzerland zoo faced heavy criticism from animal rights groups, after keepers put down a healthy brown bear cub to spare it from being bullied by its dominant male father. The 360 kg male bear Misha had already killed one of his 11-week old cubs in public and was bullying the second, staff at the zoo said, because he was jealous of the attention the cubs were receiving from their mother, Masha. Both adult brown bears had been donated to Bern’s Dählhölzli zoo in 2009. Campaigners condemned staff there for not separating the cubs, who are being referred to as Baby Bear Two and Baby Bear Three, and their mother from Misha after their birth in January
After the gorilla's death, hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition calling for "Justice for Harambe".
The petition called for the boy's parents to be held accountable for "not supervising their child".
In a Facebook post, the boy's mother asked others not to judge her because "accidents happen".
Defending herself against her critics, Michelle Gregg wrote: “As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids.
“Accidents happen but I am thankful that the right people were in the right place today.”
In August, Cincinnati Zoo issued a plea to those mourning Harame to stop paying tribute to the late gorilla by creating online memes and bombarding their official social media accounts with abuse.Reuse content