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Animal behaviour expert says Harambe the gorilla would not have hurt child

An animal behaviour expert doesn’t believe the 200 kilogram gorilla shot dead at an American zoo would have hurt a four-year-old child which fell into its enclosure.

But Professor Gisela Kaplan agrees the child’s life rightfully took precedence over the animals.

Many people are outraged Harambe the gorilla was killed after he dragged around the young boy who’d fallen around three metres.

While it looked confronting, Ms Kaplan, who has worked with great apes, said Harambe was likely startled by screaming onlookers and was trying to drag the child away.

She said the animal wouldn’t have attacked the child.

‘They are a peaceful species,’ she explained on 3AW Mornings.

‘They will only attack if there’s a real threat to their own existence.

‘Anything that’s smaller than them … they will turn away and not do anything about it.’

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview with Neil Mitchell