People have also been asking whether the other gorillas at the zoo have had time with Harambe's body to carry out the natural grieving process. The zoo is currently home to 10 western lowland gorillas.
According to the zoo, Chewie and Mara, 20-year-old half sisters, were to help Harambe transition from teenager to well-balanced silverback. "They were selected for this because they are self-assured, confident females," Michelle Curley, communications director for the zoo, told The Dodo. "They are doing fine. Eating and behaving normally." Cincinnati Zoo's other gorillas, a family group of eight gorillas that includes three little ones and is headed by silverback Jomo, continues to follow their normal routine, according to Curley.
It is unclear whether the gorillas were allowed any time with Harambe's body.
Primatologist Jane Goodall - who also questioned whether the gorillas were allowed to grieve - has refrained from making a formal statement on the incident, a representative for the Jane Goodall Institute told The Dodo. But Goodall wrote a letter of sympathy to Maynard, pointing out that the gorilla appeared to be putting his arm around the child.
The Dodo asked Kagan if the zoos of the future might not have great apes at all. "I think that in the future zoos will hold fewer different kinds of species," Kagan said. "A zoo that might now have orangutans, chimps and gorillas, might just end up having one of those, and giving them more space and more tailored environments to their needs."
This is the first time a visitor has gotten into the gorilla pit at the Cincinnati Zoo, which has been open since 1978. The boy who climbed into Harambe's pit did not sustain serious injuries.