Cincinnati Zoo to Internet: Stop Joking About Dead Gorilla
The Cincinnati Zoo wants the Harambe memes to stop. A zoo director said that continued joking on the Internet about the death of the 17-year-old silverback gorilla, who was shot dead when a 3-year-old boy got into his enclosure, is causing pain for the zoo family.
Bartender: What do you want to drink?
Harambe: I'll have a beer
Me: No he'll have just ice
Bartender: Just ice?
Me: Yes, justice for Harambe
— BRANDO (@lightskinsavior) August 22, 2016
Since Harambe's death on May 28, the ape has gotten a second life on social media in the form of ironically over-the-top tributes and calls for justice.
There also have been online petitions to put the 17-year-old silverback on Mount Rushmore and the dollar bill.
cincinnati zoo: please stop making harambe memes
— MATT KING (@MattrKing) August 22, 2016
But Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard said the zoo isn't laughing. He told the AP:
“We are not amused by the memes, petitions and signs about Harambe. 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.”
However, some animal rights activists see the continued attention on Harambe as a positive, and that the trolls are in the minority.
"For the most part, I'm very happy with it. It shows people are remembering what a wonderful being he was," said Anthony Seta, who organized a Cincinnati vigil for Harambe soon after he was killed. "The ones that are mocking and making light of the death of this being, I find incredibly offensive."