Zoo Can't Say Whether It Might Name New Baby Gorilla 'Harambe'

Don't deny the people of the internet.

The Philadelphia Zoo announced Wednesday that it will let the public choose a name for a baby western lowland gorilla born on Aug. 26.

We’ll give you one guess as to what the runaway social media favorite was.

But later that day, the zoo clarified on Twitter that contest wasn’t a total free-for-all. Instead, it will choose from a selection of names for the young gorilla and then allow the public to vote between the preselected options.

For now, zoo representatives can’t say one way or the other whether they’re considering putting “Harambe” in the running.

“I know everyone wants some kind of answers right now, but we’re not there,” Amy Shearer, the zoo’s chief marketing officer, told The Huffington Post. “Right now we need to be focusing on this beautiful baby and this beautiful birth.”

She added that the zoo doesn’t even know whether the little gorilla is a male or a female, since the mother has been keeping close guard of her offspring ― which Shearer says is a good thing.

“She is being a tremendous mom and she’s keeping that baby close,” she said.

The young, unnamed gorilla in a photo from the Philadelphia Zoo.
The young, unnamed gorilla in a photo from the Philadelphia Zoo.

All that said, we fear for the zoo’s social media team if they don’t ultimately choose “Harambe” as an option.

If the zoo does ignore the clear popular choice, they’ll be following the lead of the U.K. government, which refused to name a research vessel “Boaty McBoatface” after the moniker was a runaway winner in a public vote.

Instead, we urge the zoo to follow the example of Greenpeace, which agreed to name a humpback whale “Mr. Splashy Pants,” just like the people wanted.



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