So it's come to this. The fandom surrounding Harambe, the late gorilla and posthumous meme, has invaded the Philadelphia Zoo's celebration of a new baby gorilla. 21-year-old Honi gave birth Friday, with the Philadelphia Inquirer noting the newborn marks the first baby gorilla to be birthed at the zoo in 20 years. When the internet learned the zoo would be holding a contest to name the baby gorilla, the early frontrunner was apparent: Harambe, Harambe Jr., and related variations of the name Harambe.
"We are very excited to welcome Honi's new baby," Dr. Andy Baker, the Philadelphia Zoo's Chief Operating Officer, said in a blog post Wednesday. "The Zoo works with the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose goal is to manage populations of threatened, endangered and other species across AZA zoos, to maintain long-term genetic and demographic viability. This birth is an opportunity to engage our visitors in caring about the future of gorillas in the wild."
The naming contest, presented by the PECO Primate Reserve, won't formally kick off until sometime next month. However, Twitter wasted little time casting their early entries, presumably moved to act by the possibility of copping some sweet prizes like a balloon ride for 4 or a $25 food voucher:
All jokes aside, likely no amount of Harambe tweets and suggestions will result in the baby gorilla actually being named Harambe. A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Zoo told Vocativ Wednesday afternoon that the voting will be done from a "predetermined list." Though the spokesperson refused to rule out Harambe and related variations entirely, all signs point to probably not gonna happen.