According to BBC, the picture being sold off was taken by Harambe’s official photographer, Jeff McCurry, on the day the 17-year-old silverback first arrived at the Cincinnati Zoo. Organizers of the auction told BBC that the photo has been shared online more than five billion times.
The news arrives exactly five years after Harambe was fatally shot after he grabbed and dragged a three-year-old boy that fell into his enclosure. The death made headlines around the world and turned Harambe into a social media celebrity, spawning memorable hashtags like #RIPHarambe and #JusticeForHarambe.
Harambe isn’t the first online phenomenon to be auctioned off as an NFT.
Earlier this year, the web video “Nyan Cat” sold for $600,000, while the “Bad Luck Brian” meme was auctioned off for $36,000. Meanwhile, the “Disaster Girl” meme sold in April for nearly $500,000, and the viral “Charlie Bit My Finger” video sold this week for more than $760,000.