The Internet is not going to let the Cincinnati Zoo forget about Harambe the gorilla anytime soon.
The zoo, where workers shot and killed Harambe in May after a 3-year-old boy got into the enclosure, has deactivated its social media accounts due to an unending barrage of memes and jokes about the deceased silverback.
In case the very idea of “Harambe memes” is totally new to you, Vox has a good, comprehensive explainer on the phenomenon. But the short version is that in the wake of intense public outrage over Harambe’s death, a wave of memes, jokes and petitions emerged as semi-satirical tributes to the ape.
Unsurprisingly, the Cincinnati Zoo’s social media accounts were a prime target for this kind of thing. Prior to the zoo shuttering its Twitter and Facebook accounts, the majority of posts were flooded with semi-comedic commentary about the gorilla.
A tweet about half-price admission to the zoo, for instance, was met with dozens of replies along the lines of, “I’d pay full price to see Harambe,” “Harambe loved discounts,” and “Harambe paid the full price.”
Or a tweet stating that a yellow pond turtle has 8 vertebrate was swiftly bombarded with tweets like “Harambe had 8 hearts,” “the Cincinnati zoo has 0 harambe” and “harambe loved turtles.”
Someone also hacked the personal account of zoo director Thane Maynard over the weekend, changing his profile picture to a photo of Harambe and sending out tweets including hashtags like “#JusticeforHarambe” and “#DicksOutForHarambe”
On Monday, Maynard called for an end to the monkeying around, saying that that the zoo was “not amused by the memes, petitions and signs about Harambe.” He added that the internet’s Harambe obsession was making it more difficult for the zoo community to move on.
Needless to say, people weren’t that sympathetic. The plea to end the meme-ing simply “brought on another wave of jokes,” according to the Independent, and by Tuesday the zoo had deleted its accounts.
So far, there are no signs that the Harambe jokes are slowing down.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place