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Source: Vladimir Pcholkin / Getty

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) –

Approximately 50 people gathered at the Cincinnati Zoo to remember the 17-year-old gorilla shot and killed after a 4-year-old boy fell into the animal’s enclosure Saturday.

Harambe, a 400 pound, male Western Lowland Gorilla, was shot dead after dragging a child who crawled through a barrier and fell about 15-feet into the exhibit’s moat, Zoo Director Thane Maynard said.

Related: VIDEO: Boy falls into gorilla exhibit at Cincinnati Zoo

The incident also sparked controversy with animal rights activists against the zoo.

PETA Primatologist Julia Gallucci issued the following statement in response to the killing of Harambe.

Yet again, captivity has taken an animal’s life. The gorilla enclosure should have been surrounded by a secondary barrier between the humans and the animals to prevent exactly this type of incident. Gorillas have shown that they can be protective of smaller living beings and react the same way any human would to a child in danger. Consider Binti Jua, the gorilla who carried a child to a zookeeper’s gate. Even under the “best” circumstances, captivity is never acceptable for gorillas or other primates, and in cases like this, it’s even deadly. This tragedy is exactly why PETA urges families to stay away from any facility that displays animals as sideshows for humans to gawk at.

READ MORE: Cleveland19.com

Article Courtesy of WOIO Cleveland 19 News

Picture Courtesy of Getty Images

Tweet and Video Courtesy of Twitter, WXIX-TV Cincinnati, and WOIO Cleveland 19 News

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