Cincinnati Zoo Shuts Down Twitter Account Amid Hacking of Director’s Personal Account and Onslaught of Harambe Memes

onslaught of Harambe memes Alesia Buttrey Alesia Buttrey, of Cincinnati, holds a sign with a picture of the gorilla Harambe during a vigil in his honor in May outside the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Cincinnati. (John Minchillo, Associated Press file photo)
Alesia Buttrey, of Cincinnati, holds a sign with a picture of the gorilla Harambe during a vigil in his honor in May outside the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Cincinnati. (John Minchillo, Associated Press file photo)

The Twitter account for the Cincinnati Zoo was down late Monday night, days after the zoo director’s personal Twitter account was hacked and after pleas for a stop to memes about the slain gorilla Harambe.

Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, was shot and killed by zoo personnel in May after a 4-year-old boy fell into a moat surrounding the gorilla’s enclosure. The gorilla picked up and dragged the boy for about 10 minutes before he was killed because of concerns about the boy’s safety.

The shooting of Harambe was controversial, with some arguing the gorilla had no intent to hurt the boy.

Memes about Harambe have flooded the internet, the Associated Press reports, with some adding his face to Mount Rushmore and putting him on the $1 bill.

The zoo’s director, Thane Maynard, recently posted a video asking for an end to the memes, the Enquirer reports.

“We are not amused by the memes, petitions and signs about Harambe,” Maynard said. “Our zoo family is still healing, and the constant mention of Harambe makes moving forward more difficult for us.”

Popular culture professors at Bowling Green State University tell the AP that genuine sadness over Harambe’s death along with the use of satire in social media is driving the meme onslaught.

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SOURCE: Cliff Pinckard
cleveland.com