Toddler seen playing with gorilla in 22-year-old video - | WBTV Charlotte

Toddler seen playing with gorilla in 22-year-old video

ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) - In a video that's gone viral, an 18-month-old girl can be seen playing with a 300-pound gorilla.

The video of Tansy Aspinall, shot 22 years ago, was released by her father, Damien Aspinall,  to raise money for his Aspinall Foundation's work in releasing captivity-born gorillas back into the wild.

A young Tansy is seen on a slide with one of the primates and playfully throwing straw with another gorilla in the enclosure at a wild animal park in southern England.

At one point, a gorilla hugs her and they run around together playing with a bucket.

The footage was shot at the Howletts Wild Animal Park in Bekesbourne in Kent, South East England, but Damien, did not want to make it public back then fearing a public opinion backlash.

Damien said he and his father also played with gorillas as children and he had complete trust in letting his young daughter into the enclosure.

On the video he says: "Basically all our lives we have been nurturing a friendship with these animals."

Now 23, Tansy was interviewed on Good Morning America about the video.

"I don't remember specifically that video, but I definitely remember going in with the animals and just loving being around them. It was like playing with another brother or sister really," said Tansy.

On HLN's The Showbiz Countdown, actress and activist Janet Hubert said, "Yes, something could have happened, but I grew up with horses all my life and my son, when he was a baby, was on a horse. There are some people that I wouldn't trust before I would trust my child with a gorilla."

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. CBS contributed to this report.

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