Afterwards, people all over the world mourned the death of the gorilla. Some animal welfare advocates worried what the incident would mean for animals kept in zoos.
"If we look back 40 or 50 years, you'd go to zoos and see animals behind bars. You'd see them in a way that they're imprisoned, truly imprisoned, which means they're protected and people are protected," Ron L. Kagan, executive director and chief executive officer of The Detroit Zoo, a leading institution for zoo animal welfare, told The Dodo at the time.
Kagan feared that the backlash from the Harambe incident could cause zoos to move backward in their treatment of animals - and their hard-won naturalistic enclosures. "When there's an intention to go into an enclosure, it's almost impossible to prevent that," Kagan said.
The zoo has since erected a taller, nylon mesh fence around "Gorilla World," where Harambe died.
Because of illegal hunting, habitat loss, disease and climate change, Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered - only an estimated 100,000 are left on Earth.
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