This past May following an unfortunate incident involving a young boy falling into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo a 17-year-old gorilla, named Harambe, was shot and killed.
And, as usual, the world only took the death of the late gorilla seriously for about a minute before forever immortalizing him online by turning him into a widely popular internet joke, or otherwise referred to as a “meme.”
Many examples of Harambe memes can be found on the popular website Reddit, which has an entire feed dedicated to Harambe.
At first the zoo appeared to be at least trying to ignore these jokes, hoping they would die down over time.
But as more and more Facebook posts, tweets, vines, and websites were made to joke about Harambe, the zoo has finally had enough.
“We are not amused by the memes, petitions, and signs about Harambe,” Cincinnati Zoo director, Thane Maynard told the Associated Press in an email early this week. “Our family is still healing, and the constant mention of Harambe makes moving forward difficult for us.”
But that won’t stop people online from being vicious.
This past weekend Maynard’s personal twitter account was hacked.
A variety of Harambe jokes were posted from Maynard’s account, most of which included hashtags such as #AnimalRights #JusticeForHarambe and the infamous #*****OutForHarambe.
He has since gotten control back over his account and removed the offending tweets.
And Maynard isn’t the only one getting slammed on twitter.
On nearly every tweet recently put out on the official Cincinnati Zoo account there are dozens of vicious and sarcastic responses condemning the zoo for their actions that resulted in Harambe’s death.
The online harassment towards the zoo got so bad that they officially deactivated their twitter account last night.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.