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Family of boy who fell into Harambe’s pen thanks zoo after report

Harambe, a western lowland gorilla, was shot May 28, 2016 to protect a boy who entered its exhibit. 
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Harambe, a western lowland gorilla, was shot May 28, 2016 to protect a boy who entered its exhibit. . Jeff McCurry/Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden via The Cincinatti Enquirer via AP

The family of the boy who slipped into a gorilla exhibit is expressing its appreciation to the Cincinnati Zoo in the aftermath of a federal report that found the exhibit hadn’t been in compliance with standards.

The zoo’s dangerous-animal response team concluded the 3-year-old boy’s life was in danger and fatally shot an endangered gorilla named Harambe (huh-RAHM’-bay), which led to mourning and criticism.

WATCH: 911 call from Michelle Gregg after son falls into gorilla enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo

911 call from Michelle Gregg after son falls into gorilla enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo
911 call from Michelle Gregg after son falls into gorilla enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo

In a statement, the boy’s relatives say they appreciate the quick actions by zoo staff and “mourn with them the loss of Harambe.”

READ MORE: Harambe’s death: Is the parent-shaming over gorilla’s death going overboard?

A U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman says although the zoo barrier previously passed inspections, the May 28 breach showed it was no longer effective. She says the zoo took quick and comprehensive corrective action in making the barrier taller and adding nylon mesh.

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