Harambe’s sperm was collected after he died so he could continue his blood line
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If you’re a fan of memes and particularly of ‘today I learned’ facts, then you might want to pin your ears back, because this tale focuses on one of the GOATs of meme culture of the past few years.
OK, he wasn’t actually a goat, but he was a giant ape.
We’re talking – of course – about Harambe the gorilla.
Now, you’ll probably remember that Harambe was tragically shot dead back in 2016 after a young child managed to get into his enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo.
For the safety of the child – a large adult male gorilla is a dangerous prospect in such situations – the difficult decision was taken to shoot poor Harambe dead.
There really wasn’t much that could be done about it, but in that controversial and sad moment, an internet legend was born.
Anyway, this is a positive piece of news – relatively speaking.
That's because it turns out that Harambe’s bloodline did not die with him, because his sperm was taken after his death so that there may one day be the pitter-patter of tiny gorilla feet, bearing the same genetic make-up as the internet’s unlikely hero.
Despite the fact that Harambe was 17 years old and had not reached breeding maturity at the time of his death, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens director Thane Maynard said at the time: “There’s a future.
"It’s not the end of his gene pool."
The details since then have been pretty thin on the ground, as we can’t fully be sure whether any children were ever born from Harambe’s sperm, but Cincinnati Zoo has a very successful breeding programme for apes and monkeys, having seen more than 50 born over a history stretching more than 50 years.
In truth, Harambe himself was brought to the zoo having been born in captivity in Texas to be a part of that breeding programme.
However, he met an untimely end on that fateful day back in 2016.
One thing is for certain – he’ll never be forgotten, having passed over into the rarefied air of online celebrity and immortality.
While he may never have children – in life or in death – he will always have an army of internet acolytes who remember his story, and – for whatever reason – choose to get their d***s out over it.
When all is said and done, that’s probably what he really wanted, isn’t it?
RIP Harambe, we’ll always remember you.