The Cincinnati Zoo Isn’t Happy With All Those Harambe Memes

Photo: Via @CincinnatiZoo.
Harambe may be gone, but the internet hasn't forgotten him. The Cincinnati Zoo gorilla was shot and killed in May after he grabbed a 4-year-old boy who fell into his enclosure. Since, memes and petitions — including one called Justice For Harambe and another demanding that a tropical storm be named after him — have sprung online. But the zoo is not happy with Harambe's constant online presence. "We are not amused by the memes, petitions, and signs about Harambe," Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo director, told The Associated Press. "Our zoo family is still healing and the constant mention of Harambe makes moving forward more difficult for us. We are honoring Harambe by redoubling our gorilla conservation efforts and encouraging others to join us." This has not stopped social media users, however. Hashtags, such as "RIP Harambe," and phrases like "Never Forget Harambe" constantly make rounds on social media posts.
A recent search conducted by the Associated Press found 253 references to Harambe on — including a petition to rename the Cincinnati Bengals the Harambes, to create a Harambe emoji and Pokemon Go character, and even to canonize him. The obsession with the gorilla has even gone offline, with people getting Harambe tattoos.

But there's also the counter-phenomenon: a petition was created earlier this month to stop allowing petitions about Harambe to appear on

More from US News

R29 Original Series