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The story of a Chinese zoo that named a baby gorilla Harambe McHarambeface went viral Tuesday morning. Multiple outlets, including the Daily Mail, Metro, and the Mirror shared the story—and, as you would expect, the Internet rejoiced.
A Chinese zoo just named a baby gorilla Harambe McHarambeface I’ve never been happier in my entire life
— Joey Biden (@joeypapile) September 13, 2016
I’m legally changing my name to Harambe McHarambeFace
— FringyMcToxicwhal (@JonnyMcNarwhal) September 13, 2016
Here’s a clipping from the original story, reported by the Boston Leader.
Woah, that’s exciting! There’s just one small problem.
if the Internet is lying to me about Harambe McHarambeface I’m gonna be so pissed
— חאשה (@claritchka) September 13, 2016
Yeah… about that. The whole thing is almost definitely a hoax.
You can search far and wide, but the only recent baby gorilla naming contest you’ll find is one at a Philadelphia zoo.
In fact, people tossed the name around then.
There was also a public waterslide in Australia that folks suggested could use the name.
So it’s not hard to see why people wanted to believe in this story. And it certainly looked real enough.
The Boston Leader, where the story originally appeared, bills itself as a local news outlet serving the public since 1932.
But the site appears to have no other “real” articles. All links lead to an error message. And as of the writing of this article, the site itself appears to be down.
And yet, isn’t this viral fake news story a small victory for us all? Today, as members of team internet, shouldn’t we rejoice?
Today has been a great day for Team Internet
‘ Harambe McHarambeface ‘
— Sam King 🌯 (@Samkingftw) September 13, 2016
Harambe McHarambeFace is the greatest thing the internet has ever achieved.
— in my feelings. (@robotbellion) September 13, 2016
Harambe McHarambeface trending on Twitter is exactly why the Internet is a fantastic place
— Alex (@AlexMcGuire98) September 13, 2016
Yes and yea, we shall.
“Harambe McHarambeface”is the best meme mashup since Y U No Lyin’, Trump Did 7/11, and Hotline Bling Fries Are Done
— Orli Matlow (@HireMeImFunny) September 13, 2016
R.I.P. Harambe. May you live forever in our hearts, our memes, and our hoaxes.
Nayomi Reghay is a frequent contributor to the Daily Dot, covering body positivity, feminism, sex, relationships, and gender. She is also the author of the advice column “Swipe This!” A former New York Teaching Fellow, her writing has been featured in Reductress, Rolling Stone, Mic, Someecards, and more.