Harambe: One year on

Hip Hop Hollywood 29/05/2017

It's been one year to the day since we lost a gorilla, but gained a legend.  

Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla who lived at Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, was shot dead on May 28, 2016 (local time). 

After a boy fell into the gorilla's enclosure, a zoo worker, fearing for the child's life, shot and killed the silverback gorilla.

The incident became an international news story. And then suddenly became so much more.

Harambe's real world existence became a major part of the virtual world. It was the number one US meme of last year, according to Google Trends. People all over the country searched for Harambe more than any other meme in 2016.

Adam Downer, from website Know Your Meme, an encyclopaedic record of internet culture told USA Today that all memes, including the Harambe ones, are about "social capital and a way to spend time online".

"2016 was a year for coping with death, and people coped with Harambe's death by putting him into a fictional pantheon with other fallen heroes like David Bowie and Prince. He got to ride their super-star coattails into heaven." 

To mark the first anniversary of his death, Newshub has compiled the best Harambe memes of all.