Video of Toddler Playing With Gorilla Sparks Debate
Video of a baby girl playing with a 300-pound gorilla is shocking the world. The cute little girl from the video is now all grown up, 20 years later.
Now, Tansy Aspinall is defending her dad's decision to let her play with the wild creatures at his animal park in England.
Tansy said on Good Morning America, "I definitively remember going in with the animals and playing with them, like a brother or sister. My dad would never put me in with an aggressive gorilla ever. The most important thing about gorillas to remember is they're like humans. So, there are some who are more kind and gentler than others, which are the ones we go in with."
Tansy's dad, conservationist Damian Aspinall, waited two decades before releasing the video of his then 18-month-old daughter frolicking with gorillas. Some are criticizing the video as a needlessly reckless stunt, much the way the late wildlife expert Steve Irwin was blasted for feeding a crocodile while holding his month-old son.
Damian was well aware the video would spark outrage and controversy, but he wants to raise awareness for his foundation and he insisted his daughter was not in danger.
Damian said on Good Morning America, "I was brought up around gorillas and when you're part of the family group, it isn't risky at all. I can see how some people would find that hard to believe."
People who went to the Dallas Zoo eight years ago in Dallas, Texas, may disagree with Damian. They ran for their lives from an escaped gorilla. The gorilla injured four people, including a three-year-old boy, before he was shot dead by police.