Cincinnati Zoo Harambe memes
Cincinnati zoo officials say they are “not amused” by the numerous memes and petitions created after one of its gorillas was shot dead.
Staff killed Harambe in May after he grabbed a three-year-old boy who got into his enclosure.
Since then he has become a favourite subject of jokers, satirists and campaigners.
Responding, Cincinnati Zoo said the constant mentions were making it difficult for staff to move on.
“Our zoo family is still healing,” director Thane Maynard told Associated Press in an email. “We are honouring Harambe by redoubling our gorilla conservation efforts and encouraging others to join us.”
Mr Maynard’s twitter account was hacked over the weekend. The zoo’s accounts have also been flooded with replies.
Other voices on the internet have said that the jokes have now gone too far and should be brought to an end.
WCPO-TV web editor James Leggate recently started his own petition, for instance, which asks that petitions about Harambe are stopped.
“At first, the petitioners had good intentions,” he wrote. “But then the goofuses of the Internet hopped on the Harambe train for their jollies, and it has gotten out of control.”
Ashley Byrne, an associate director at PETA, said that the trolls were in the minority among the people who were mourning the gorilla.
“This tragic incident really did start a new conversation,” she said. “Most people who saw the video came away with a great degree of empathy for animals forced to live in captivity.”