Kaley Cuoco challenged her followers to "bring on the hate" after sharing her opinion on the controversial death of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo

By Lindsay Kimble
May 31, 2016 08:50 AM

Kaley Cuoco is joining the chorus of voices speaking out against the killing of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo over the weekend after a 4-year-old boy fell into its enclosure. Cuoco’s statement comes as an eyewitness account of the gorilla’s violent behavior has emerged.

“RIP #harambe,” Cuoco wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of the 17-year-old, 450 lb. 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 continued, “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. Bring on the hate!!!”

Harambe was shot by the Cincinnati Zoo’s Dangerous Animal Response team after the little boy dropped 15 feet into the park’s gorilla enclosure. Video footage shows the gorilla pulling the little boy around the enclosure.

The woman who filmed the terrifying incident told PEOPLE she turned the camera off when Harambe pulled the boy onto the cement portion of the exhibit.

“I was frozen in fear, it was too traumatic to be on camera,” Kim O’Connor said. “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.”

Harambe was shot dead by zookeepers after he grabbed the little boy and dragged him around the exhibit.

“The idea of waiting and shooting it with a hypodermic was not a good idea,” director Thane Maynard said at a press conference Monday. “That would have definitely created alarm in the male gorilla. When you dart an animal, anesthetic doesn t work in one second, it works over a period of a few minutes to 10 minutes. The risk was due to the power of that animal.”

Many claim footage from the incident shows the gorilla Harambe holding the child's hand and "protecting" him
Kimberley O Connor/ViralHog

Maynard also refuted claims (made by Cuoco and many others) that the gorilla appeared to be holding the boy’s hand and “protecting” before zookeepers opened fire.

“The gorilla was clearly agitated. The gorilla was clearly disoriented,” he said on Monday in a press conference

Regardless, animal activists have launched a petition, pressing the zoo to take legal action against the boy’s parents.

In a statement issued by a family spokesperson on Monday, the boy’s parents said “we are so thankful to the Lord that our child is safe.”

“We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff. We know that this was a very difficult decision for them and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla,” the statement red.

The zoo has received support from numerous experts for making the quick decision, including Ron Magill, the communications director for Zoo Miami.

“They made the absolutely right decision,” he told Good Morning America of the Cincinnati Zoo’s actions, adding, “This was just a perfect storm of bad situations that ended in tragedy.”

He continued of the gorilla appearing to hold onto the boy’s hand, “He’s confused. He certainly didn’t try to hurt the child. He just doesn’t know his strength.”

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