Cincinnati Zoo Responds To Harambe's Memorialisation Through Memes And Petitions
The author of this piece connecting with Harambe, after he appeared to him above the Arndale Centre, Manchester. Featured image credit: Adam Menzies.
Like a shadow that continues to dance in ever dimming light, Harambe has stayed in our hearts since being taken from us in May this year.
Debate rages on whether Harmabe was trying to hurt the four-year-old child or to save him, and whether the shooting was a necessary evil or if he could have been tranquillised.
But now Cincinnati Zoo, responsible for Harambe's death, has had its say on the gorilla's online memorialisation, saying it is 'not amused' by the numerous memes and petitions created after the gorilla was shot dead.
"I want you always to remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this?" - Haruki Murakami
Cincinnati Zoo said the constant mentions are making it difficult for staff to move on.
"Our zoo family is still healing," director Thane Maynard told Associated Press in an email. "We are honouring Harambe by redoubling our gorilla conservation efforts and encouraging others to join us.''
Sadly, though, for Hamrabe devotees, no amount of gorilla conservation is capable of bringing the gorilla they love back. For them, he was more than just a gorilla, His death was a tragedy that epitomises 2016 as one of the most difficult in modern memory.
when people say harambe was just a gorilla pic.twitter.com/QJMkDnkcOT
- ㅤ (@harleenqvinzel) August 2, 2016
Other mainstream media outlets have reported the memes around the gorilla as 'a joke'. Perhaps those journalists don't understand what Harambe has come to mean to us.
Harambe's death prevented the gorilla achieving his seemingly unlimited potential. Five percent of Americans who took part in recent polls have said they would gladly choose him to be their next president.
And in a heart-warming ode to Harambe, a petition has also been started for him to be immortalised as a Pokémon. The petition currently has over 70,000 signatures. It reads: "Harambe deserves to live on forever in our hearts. Support this petition if you want Harambe to become a Pokémon."
Coming soon to Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon. pic.twitter.com/sWqfFmhqgq
- Shigeru Miyamoto (@RealShigeruM) August 9, 2016
Undoubtedly, the zoo had a difficult decision, but people are angry and they feel Harambe deserves to be honoured.
Primatologist Frans de Waal told the Guardian: "I don't think there is anything to joke about, as it was such a tragic event.
"I do feel that the incident raised awareness that we should take seriously the life of an adult gorilla. I think this side of the incident was positive: people paid attention, and may as a result have read comments on the intelligence or lives of gorillas.
they call it gorilla glue because harambe was metaphorically the glue that held this nation together pic.twitter.com/9o0MN8f5ul
- Funny Tweets:tm: (@Lmao) August 20, 2016
"Zoos are perhaps more aware now of the dangers of toddlers climbing into enclosures and parents are perhaps more aware of keeping their children close, but other than that I doubt this incident will produce profound change."
The BBC has reported that Cincinnati Zoo reopened its Gorilla World exhibit in June with a higher barrier in an attempt to prevent any more accidents, but perhaps it is too little too late.
RIP Harambe - a senseless death.
Words by James Dawson