Tributes flood in for Harambe on the seventh anniversary of his death
| Last updated
May 28 is a difficult day for many around the world as it is a reminder that Harambe is no longer on this earth.
The iconic gorilla was shot dead at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden back in 2016.
A three-year-old boy climbed into a gorilla enclosure and he was quickly taken by Harambe and dragged around.
A zoo staff member reacted quickly to save the child's life and decided to shoot the animal in the hopes it would rapidly de-escalate the situation.
The whole situation unfolded in front of horrified people and it was also recorded and broadcast around the world.
There was swift outrage at the decision to use lethal force to subdue the gorilla.
Harambe quickly became an internet sensation after his death and was immortalised as a meme that lasts to this day.
People flooded onto social media to mark the seventh anniversary of his death.
One person said: "On this day 7 years ago, Harambe was murdered by the government for helping a lost child. We will never forget, we will never forgive. Rest with the angels, sweet prince. We will avenge you."
Another added: "7 years since we’ve lost our lord and savior Harambe. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. RIP King."
A third wrote: "Harambe was shot and killed 7 years ago today, one day before he would have turn 17. He was a good boy who dindu nuffin."
San Francisco if Harambe was still alive pic.twitter.com/pxcTKbAJIu— Sir Doge of the Coin ⚔️ (@dogeofficialceo) May 28, 2023
Harambe was the nephew of Koko the Gorilla. I'll never forgive OR forget. pic.twitter.com/mmQkNVYkyQ— Aphena Barbie-Doll (@AphenaBarbiDoll) May 19, 2023
Today makes seven years since Harambe first fell. 💚💀 pic.twitter.com/eEn2CYbuQf— memeslich 💀 (@memeslich) May 28, 2023
While loads of people appear to criticise the decision made by the zoo staffer that day, they were defended by primatologists and conservationists in the wake of the outrage.
Legendary primatologist Jane Goodall said they had no other choice.
“It was awful for the child, the parents, Harambe, the zoo, the keepers and the public," she wrote.
"But when people come into contact with wild animals, life and death decisions sometimes have to be made."
She added in a Q&A with the International Fund for Animal Welfare: "Harambe could have hurt the child even without intending to cause harm.
"And it would be difficult for even people familiar with Harambe himself, researchers or keepers who may have spent hours with Harambe, to ascertain his intentions from a distance in as short a time as it would take to do irreparable harm.
"It certainly appeared at times that he was being gentle, but he was nervous and agitated by the unexpected arrival of the child and the shouting of the people watching."
Seven years on and his death is still painful for many.