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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.

THE SNAPSHOT

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.”

MEME OF THE YEAR

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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