The heartbreaking demise of Harambe the gorilla shocked the nation, opened up difficult conversations about zoos and parenting, and also sparked a million terrible jokes.
Now, a new gorilla has moved in at the Cincinnati Zoo, and understandably, people have mixed feelings about it.
Harambe might be the most posthumously famous gorilla in the world.
He was shot and killed in May of 2016 after a 4-year-old boy fell into his enclosure, and the zoo was forced to take lethal action. At the time, the zoo argued they had no alternative, given how strong and unpredictable Harambe was. It’s the kind of situation in which there were no winners, just sadness. Oh, and gifs.
But the zoo recently announced the arrival of a new gorilla: Mshindi
Mshindi is a 29-year-old silverback who was transferred from Louisville. He’ll join the two females currently still residing in the Cincinatti Zoo’s gorilla enclosure. Though this would normally be a cause to celebrate, the announcement has had some mixed reactions.
Lots of people on Twitter are expressing worry.
Apparently they worry the zoo hasn’t learned its lesson from what happened with Harambe. Or they think this zoo just shoots gorillas for fun. It’s honestly hard to tell.
Some acknowledged that no one could ever replace Harambe.
It’s definitely the case that the spirit of Harambe looms large over the Cincinnati Zoo. His death is certainly not the way the zoo would’ve liked to have made headlines. But maybe this is a step towards healing for everyone.
Others balked at how quickly the zoo seems to have moved on.
As any animal lover knows, there’s simply no “replacing” a beloved pet or zoo animal. Anymore than you can replace a lost family member. Still, hopefully zoo goers welcome Mshindi, who many pointed out might be in for an awkward transition.
In addition to ice breakers with his two new friends, he might have some questions…