The deletion might finally have been spurred by an outpouring of anger and attacks in recent days. The zoo’s director Thane Maynard’s account had been hacked, and every single tweet that the official account sent out was greeted by a flood of responses about Harambe.
But it might also have been a response to the relentless memeing that has come in recent weeks, as grieving for Harambe became the internet’s favourite occupation and joke. The zoo said that it wanted those jokes to come to an end – which just led to a new flurry of them, and the account was taken down just hours after.
The zoo’s director had said that the institution was “not amused by the memes, petitions and signs about Harambe”.
“Our zoo family is still healing, and the constant mention of Harambe makes moving forward more difficult for us,” Maynard had told the . We are honouring Harambe by redoubling our gorilla conservation efforts and encouraging others to join us .”
But deleting the account doesn’t seem to have brought those memes to an end – and has instead just brought on another wave of jokes.
Harambe was killed when a three-year-old fell into his enclosure at the end of May. After an initial outpouring of grief, it seemed that many people had moved on – until the events were revived as a meme in the last few weeks.