Videotaped footage of the four-year-old in the enclosure hit headlines over the weekend (28-29May16).

At first Harambe appeared to gently greet the young child before dragging him off.

Officials at the zoo made the decision to shoot the great ape, insisting if they had tried to tranquillise him it would have take several minutes for the large animal to feel the effects and he could have grown angry or hurt and killed the young boy.

"That child's life was in danger," Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard said, justifying the actions of his staff. "People who question that don't understand you can't take a risk with a silverback gorilla - this is a dangerous animal. Looking back, we'd make the same decision. The child is safe."

Many celebrities have now taken to social media to express their anger over the animal's death.

"This is why I hate zoos!," actress and singer Katharine Mcphee writes on "This is so messed up. This poor gorilla," while Kelly adds, "shame on those for the murdering of #Harambe."

Animal rights activist Kaley Cuoso adds, "RIP #harambe Im sure I will get tons of backlash (per usual) I mean let's be honest, I wear the wrong sweatpants and the entire world has something to say about it, but once again, another senseless horrendous animal being killed over people not using their brains.

"If you watch the footage, you see this gorgeous animal holding that child's hand. Do with that what you will. As sad as this makes me, a part of me is happy for that amazing creature doesn't have to live in captivity another day. Bring on the hate!!!!"

And comedians/actors Ricky Gervais and D.L. Hughley echoed Kaley's sentiments, while taking aim at the child's parents.

"It seems that some gorillas make better parents than some people," Ricky writes.

"If you leave your kid in a car you go to jail, if you let your kid fall into a Gorilla Enclosure u should too!" D.L. adds.