Cobb’s grandparents founded the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, and she grew up around the animals. She said the gorilla’s actions translated to interacting or being parental rather than showing force.
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"They'll put their shoulders up, and you'll see the hair. They'll actually make their hair on their head stand up," Cobb said. "That means they're on guard. What's going on? Something's wrong."
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She said a lot of what happened when the gorilla dragged the child was indicative of how gorillas play in the wild. “He didn’t pull him by his hair or by his neck. He knew good and well that was attached to the child and he intentionally grabbed his pants to take him with him. That’s not an animal trying to hurt or kill anything,” she said.
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Cobb told WFLA that she was "devastated" by the zoo's decision to kill the animal, which has been defended by the zoo's director and famed animal handler Jack Hanna.