When the Cincinnati Zoo shot Harambe, its 17-year-old gorilla, after a boy fell into his enclosure this past May, it probably knew it had a PR disaster on its hands. What it surely didn’t expect, however, was for Harambe—and his death—to turn into an internet meme of epic proportions, the 2016 equivalent of the Kennedy Assassination, but if LBJ was pro-people getting their dicks out for the late prez. While the Cincinnati Zoo at least tolerated the commotion for a bit, even if it never acknowledged it, now it’s saying it’s completely, aggressively over all your Harambe jokes.
In an interview with the Associated Press, the Zoo’s director, Thane Maynard, said that the zoo is “not amused” by all the “memes, petitions, and signs” about its late gorilla, saying that the zoo’s family is “still healing, and the constant mention of Harambe makes moving forward more difficult for us.” It’s almost as if the millions of hacky jokesters on the internet forgot that—surprise!—actual people worked with and cared for Harambe, and that perhaps all the tweets at the Cincinnati Zoo might be driving its social media person insane.
The zoo says it has been trying to direct attention to gorilla conservation efforts in the wake of Harambe’s death and “encourages others to join us.” In other words, put your money where your dumb Tumblr is and stop bothering the poor people at the Cincinnati Zoo.