The Cincinnati Zoo, where Harambe the gorilla was shot dead earlier this year after a child fell into his enclosure, is “not amused” by the many memes of the massive animal circulating online.
Harambe, a 17-year-old western lowland gorilla, was killed in May to save a 3-year-old boy who officials say was being grabbed and dragged around by the gorilla after the child crawled through a barrier and fell into the animal’s exhibit.
Harambe’s death sparked immediate backlash and several online petitions. New memes continue to surface, appearing to mock the beloved mammal’s death, which Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard said harms the healing process for the zoo’s staff members.
“We are not amused by the memes, petitions and signs about Harambe,” Maynard said in a statement to the Associated Press. “Our zoo family is still healing, and the constant mention of Harambe makes moving forward more difficult for us. We are honoring Harambe by redoubling our gorilla conservation efforts and encouraging others to join us.”
Maynard’s Twitter account was hacked late Saturday by an apparent Harambe supporter, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.