Donald Trump weighed in on the killing of a 17-year-old male gorilla that grabbed and dragged a 3-year-old boy who fell into the moat in the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo this week.
WATCH: Trump responds to question about gorilla’s death
The gorilla, named Harambe, at times seemed to be protecting the boy and at other times dragged him around the enclosure.
The zoo ultimately decided to shoot the gorilla to save the boy, a decision that has spurred a backlash from animal rights activists.
During a contentious news conference about theaccounting of donations to veterans groups from a Trump fundraiser this year, reporter from Yahoo News asked Trump whether the gorilla should have been killed.
“I think it’s a very tough call. It was amazing because there were moments with the gorilla–the way he held that child– it was almost like a mother holding a baby–looked so beautiful and calm,” Trump responded. “And there were moments where it looked pretty dangerous. I don’t think they had a choice. I mean, probably they didn’t have a choice. You have a child — a young child who is at stake — and, you know — it’s too bad there wasn’t another way. I thought it was so beautiful to watch that you know powerful, almost 500-pound gorilla, the way he dealt with that little boy. But it just takes one second — one second — it’s not like it takes place over — well, he’s going to do it in 30 seconds from now. It just takes one little flick of his finger. And I will tell you they probably had no choice.”