2 Years Later: Remembering the death of Harambe

Published: May. 28, 2018 at 5:34 PM EDT
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Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla shot and killed after a 3-year-old boy got into his enclosure, has taken on life after death.

On May 28, 2016, a special zoo response team shot and killed the 17-year-old gorilla that grabbed and dragged a small boy who fell into a moat.

The dangerous animal response team decided the boy was in "a life-threatening situation" and that they needed to put down the 400-pound-plus male gorilla.

The boy's mother did not face any criminal charges, as prosecutors say it appeared he "just scampered off."

Harambe became a social media sensation in his aftermath, as there were calls to rename the Cincinnati Bengals in his honor and add his face to Mount Rushmore. He showed up on many presidential ballots during the 2016 election.

The Harambe phenomenon is fed by genuine sadness over his May 28 death, continued controversy over the circumstances that led to it, and the penchant of many social media users for satire.

The zoo would add another gorilla named Mshindi from the Louisville Zoo in September 2017.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.