Screengrab via YouTube April Siese

Petition to turn Harambe into a Facebook reaction gaining support

Like, love, haha, yay, wow, sad, angry, Harambe?


Katey Psencik

Internet Culture

Published Jul 10, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 11:41 am CDT

It’s been nearly two months since the tragic death of Harambe the gorilla, and the world is still in mourning. He’s been immortalized in memes and on election ballots, he’s the focus of an extremely unique social movement that’s gained support from Hollywood’s biggest stars and activists. Harambe may have even inspired notorious drug lord El Chapo, whose latest rumored prison escape may be attributed to seeking vengeance for Harambe’s death. Needless to say, people love this damn gorilla.

The 17-year-old endangered silverback gorilla was shot and killed by officials at the Cincinnati Zoo after a four-year-old boy fell into his enclosure in May. People across the globe signed petitions demanding justice, and even famed primatologist Jane Goodall weighed in on the tragedy.

Now, internet activists want to take it a step further and immortalize our fallen hero in the best way the web knows how—via a petition. Supporters are asking Facebook to take Harambe tributes to the next level by creating a gorilla emoji for the Facebook Messenger app. The petition reads:

Harambe the Gorilla was tragically killed earlier this year. His death has shaken the foundation of many of our lives to the point that putting it into words becomes difficult. The gorilla emoji will both give a symbol to that speechlessness and serve as a loving testament to Harambe’s legacy. Facebook has recently overhauled their entire emoji set for messenger, so what is one more to give a voice to the grieving?

Rock solid argument. The petition has over 500 signatures as of this writing, but it’s ultimately up to Facebook to make the tribute a reality. These are trying times. Harambe may not be the hero we deserve, but he’s the hero we need.

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*First Published: Jul 10, 2016, 11:00 am CDT