According to an internet rumor, Harambe was brought back to the world thanks to an organized effort of internet trolls who voted for the name of a baby gorilla at a Chinese zoo in an online poll.
A story posted by The Boston Leader asserts that “Harambe” and “Boaty McBoatface” were fused together into the name Harambe McHarambeface, and that that name won an internet naming contest for the newborn gorilla at the Jinhua Zoo in China. The story was expertly crafted, even containing quotes from key people AND a statement from the zoo saying that the baby gorilla would have a different Chinese name because “Harambe McHarambeface” could not be properly translated.
Sadly, it’s all fake.
The Boston Leader is not a real newspaper and was only established last week. Nobody has found any evidence of an online poll or contest for the name of a newborn gorilla at the Jinhua Zoo (or even that there is any newborn gorillas at all). At the end of the day, several reputable news outlets are walking away with egg on their face for this one.
It was the perfect fake story because it was one that we all wanted to be true.