Woman who took phone video backs zoo's choice

Posted at 6:22 AM, Jun 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-01 06:25:43-04

CINCINNATI -- Kim O'Connor, the woman behind that cell phone video showing the Cincinnati Zoo's gorilla Harambe interacting with a 3-year-old boy who fell into thdive gorilla enclosure Saturday, is speaking out to back the zoo's decision to kill the primate.

O'Connor said what she caught on tape is not the worst of what happened, and she doesn't believe Harambe was ever going to give that little boy up after he crossed a barrier and fell into the gorilla enclosure.

She said the only reason she shared the now-viral video is so people would see how the gorilla interacted with the child, including banging it against a wall at one point, leaving the zoo with no choice but to shoot the animal.


"The horrific part, worse than what my video captures happened on the cement part of that exhibit and I didn't capture that video. I would have never captured that video," O'Connor said. "Taking that into consideration and not the boat and the water, they had no other choice."

She's speaking up now to support the zoo and challenge people who believe Harambe was trying to protect the boy.  

"I was hoping that people would see that contrary to early reports that led the world to believe that he had not engaged with the gorilla. I needed them to understand there was an engagement," O'Connor said.

The Cincinnati Police Department is investigating whether criminal charges should be filed against the parents of that boy. The USDA is also looking into what happened.