In its 143 years of being in service, this incident where an animal had to be killed by a zoo staff is a first, as shared by Maynard. However, there had been an incident where a keeper lost an arm to a polar bear. While there was no formal memorial service for Harambe, whose body is still at the zoo, Maynard said that staff gathered together on the following Monday to “share memories and talk about it, and cry a little bit.”
Though Harambe was a rare animal, his gene pool does not end as the zoologist had preserved his sperm. Maynard said that he and his descents are part of an ongoing breeding program that aims to address endangered animals.