Harambe, the gorilla who was shot dead after a boy fell into his enclosure on Saturday, may have a future of sorts after zoo staff revealed they had frozen his sperm.
The 17-year-old western lowland silverback was fatally shot when a four-year-old boy fell into his enclosure.
Questions have been asked of the level of supervision provided by the parents of the boy, of the zoo’s security and of the zoo staff’s readiness to shoot the gorilla dead.
But those members of the public affected by gorilla’s death may take comfort in the zoo’s admission that sperm from Harambe had been frozen after his death, which means his ‘gene pool’ will likely continue.
Zoo director Thomas Maynard said there was ‘a future’ for Harambe because ‘it’s not the end of his gene pool.’
Though Harambe was not yet mature enough to breed, his sperm was collected after the shooting for possible reproductive use and for research purposes.
Harambe’s breed is critically endangered in the wild. Their numbers have delinced more than 60% in the last quarter-century.
Their numbers are now estimated at fewer than 175,000.