Kaley Cuoco, star of the “The Big Bang Theory,” has waded into the controversy surrounding the shooting of a 17-year-old gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo after a boy fell into its enclosure over the weekend.
Cuoco, 30, sided with those who thought it was wrong to shoot the primate, named Harambe, but her comments come amid statements of eyewitness account of the gorilla’s violent behavior.
“RIP #harambe,” Cuoco said on Instagram, with a photo of the 450-pound gorilla. “I’m sure I will get tons of backlash (per usual) I mean let’s be honest, I wear the wrong sweatpants and the entire world has something to say about it, but once again, another senseless horrendous animal being killed over people not using their brains.”
Cuoco added, “If you watch the footage, you see this gorgeous animal holding that child’s hand. Do with that, what you will. As sad as this makes me, a part of me is happy for that amazing creature doesn’t have to live in captivity another day!!!”
The animal was shot by the Cincinnati Zoo’s Dangerous Animal Response after the boy dropped 10 feet into a moat in Harambe’s enclosure.
The woman who filmed the incident, Kim O’Connor, said Harambe started acting violently after she turned off the camera.
“I was frozen in fear, it was too traumatic to be on camera,” she told People magazine. “What you don’t see is the way he pulled the boy up the wall. He was treating the little boy like a Raggedy Ann doll in his grip.”
The Cincinnati Zoo defended shooting the animal. “The Zoo security team’s quick response saved the child’s life,” said its director, Thane Maynard, in a statement on Saturday. “We are all devastated that this tragic accident resulted in the death of a critically-endangered gorilla.”
Maynard also refuted claims that the gorilla was holding the boy’s hand—and as some claimed—was protecting the boy before zookeepers shot it. “The gorilla was clearly agitated. The gorilla was clearly disoriented,” he said on Monday, May 30.