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SNAPSHOT: Harambe Goes to Wall Street

A statue of Harambe, the beloved Cincinnati Zoo gorilla who was shot to death in 2016, has been erected on Wall Street, opposite the iconic Charging Bull.


Photos of the 7-foot-tall bronze statue have circulated widely on social media since Harambe’s appearance Monday.

The Sapien Network, the activist social media platform behind the statue, said in a press release that Harambe “represents the millions of everyday people who struggle under a system that enriches wealthy elites and leaves the average person behind.”

  • Ankit Bhatia and Robert Giometti, the Sapien Network’s co-founders, also said the statue is meant to show how Wall Street has gone “bananas.”


Harambe became a cultural phenomenon following his controversial death at the hands of zookeepers, who were concerned after a 3-year-old boy got into the gorilla’s enclosure.

The internet was inundated with Harambe memes, more than 500 million people signed a petition seeking “Justice for Harambe” and 2% of Texans backed the gorilla for president, per an August 2016 Public Policy Polling survey.

  • But some liberals deemed Harambe-mania racist or dismissive of social justice.
  • Ryan Milner, an associate professor of communications at the College of Charleston, warned The New York Times at the time: “It becomes a farcical way to skewer that social media activism rather than actually going after social media advocacy.”

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