The woman who captured the now-viral video of a gorilla dragging a 3-year-old boy around in its zoo enclosure said that people “know nothing” about the incident, following the torrent of criticism against the boy’s mother and the Cincinnati Zoo.
Kim O’Connor, who is from West Michigan, told WZZM-TV that people who lashed out on Facebook and Twitter got it wrong.
— Eric Frisbee (@Fox19Frisbee) May 30, 2016
She said that no one should blame anyone for the incident—saying it was merely a tragic accident.
O’Connor said on Saturday, she tried to get a video of the gorilla. Everything changed in a minute after she “heard a splash.”
She then saw the 450-pound gorilla, named Harambe, dragging the boy around.
“I’m telling everyone stop screaming, stop screaming,” O’Connor said, adding that screams made the situation worse.
“He (Harambe) definitely responded to the noise of the crowd, because when we got the crowd to stop and be quiet he sat still longer, but the minute the volume went up and people really started yelling, the more he felt like he had to get that boy away,” O’Connor noted.
She said that she doesn’t blame the mother.
“People are saying things, and they have opinions about something they know nothing about,” O’Connor said. “It was not a friendly, ‘I’m going to take him to the zoo keeper and let him go.’ He was dragging him around like a doll and they had to do what they had to do, that boy only had minutes left, I know he only had minutes left.”
Just moments before, the mother told her child not to go in, O’Connor said.
“‘I want to go in the monkeys, the gorillas, I want to go in’ and she kept saying, ‘No you don’t, no you don’t’,” O’Connor said, adding it isn’t the zoo’s fault. “That same exhibit I would take my children there now with no changes, would I watch them closely? Sure, I would,” O’Connor said.
Authorities on Thursday said they have completed an investigation into the boy’s fall. The Cincinnati Police Department has turned over the probe to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters, the office said in a statement.
A 911 call from the boy’s mother was also released.
“My son fell in the zoo exhibit at the gorilla—at the Cincinnati zoo. My son fell in with the gorilla. There is a male gorilla standing over him,” she says “He’s dragging my son. I can’t watch this. I can’t watch.”
Deters said his review would be concluded Friday.