But Zoo officials also said the exhibit, which has an open viewing area that was among the first of its kind in the world, is safe, the Associated Press reports.
“The exhibit is safe, the barrier is safe,” said zoo director Thane Maynard, adding that it is regularly checked by federal zoo inspectors. While a recent such inspection said the exhibit was safe, an earlier report in March warned of a potential danger to the public, the AP reports.
Cincinnati police are already investigating the incident. Some have criticized the child’s parents. This incident was the first time, Maynard said, that a visitor entered the exhibit, which opened in 1978 and was heralded as the first “bar-less” outdoor gorilla exhibit.