In loving memory. Animal lovers took to social media on Sunday, May 28, to pay tribute to Harambe the gorilla one year after he was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.
Harambe became an internet phenomenon almost immediately after his death. Last May, a 3-year-old boy fell into a gorilla enclosure at the zoo and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla. Zookeepers feared for the boy’s life and came to the controversial decision to shoot and kill Harambe, just one day after the beloved animal’s birthday.
In the months following, Harambe became the subject of numerous viral social media posts. According to Google Trends, Harambe was the No. 1 meme in the United States last year. Five percent of Americans even voted for Harambe in a poll ahead of the presidential election last November.
“The joke had gotten so big that it started influencing other areas of society,” Know Your Meme associate editor Adam Downer told USA Today.
On Sunday, Twitter users came together to remember the late gorilla, sharing countless tributes and memes. “Harambe died a year ago today and the whole world gone to hell since,” one fan wrote. Another added, “One year ago today, a legend was taken from us.. Rest easy champ, we miss you Harambe.”
The Cincinnati Zoo said it had no plans for a public event or memorial to mark the anniversary and is instead looking forward to the reopening of the Gorilla World exhibit in June, according to the Associated Press.
Harambe died a year ago today and the whole world gone to hell since #RIPinPeaceHarambe
— Wu-Tang Financial (@Wu_Tang_Finance) May 28, 2017
— Dylan (@DylansFreshTake) May 28, 2017
— Brian (@bmungai1) May 28, 2017
— Nathan Davies (@nathan12davies) May 28, 2017
One year ago today, a legend was taken from us.. Reast easy champ, we miss you Harambe 🐐
— Leighton (@LeightonPiper) May 28, 2017
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!