Video appeared to show Harambe, the gorilla killed on May 28 after a boy fell into a pit at Cincinnati Zoo, comforting the child (video below).
The clip shows Harambe standing over the boy in the corner of the moat where he fell, appearing protective of him during the tense situation. Panicked onlookers can be heard screaming in the background.
“You heard the splash. People are yelling, 'There's a boy in the water. There's a boy in the water,'” witness Kim O’Connor told WLWT. “I don't know if the screaming did it or too many people hanging on the edge, if he thought we were coming in, but then he pulled the boy down away further from the big group.”
Before he was shot and killed, Harambe dragged the 4-year-old out of the moat where he fell. Although initial reports stated Harambe was violently dragging the boy around the pit, others contradicted those versions of the event.
“What the first responders saw, I’m just not sure ... They said he was violently throwing the child around, which seems crazy to me,” witness Brittany Nicely said. “They have a picture of the boy sitting in front of the gorilla moments before they shot him.”
The boy was in the pit for around 10 to 15 minutes, officials said.
“Unfortunately, we heard it. We hadn't gotten much outside the gates. We were hoping, hoping, they were just putting him to sleep,” O’Connor said. “Really, we would just like to know that that little boy is OK, because of what we saw, the trauma of what we saw.”
Watch the incident below.