Top 20 Facts About Harambe: The Gorilla Killed At The Cincinnati Zoo

Presenting an intriguing list: top 20 facts about Harambe. The gorilla was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo, one of the largest animal enclosure attractions in the US.  For those of you who lived under a rock, zoo officials killed him to save the life of a young child who fell into his enclosure. The incident was far from being the worst animal attack in recent US history, but it still caused a lot of outrage. Morbidly, it also became the topic of memes and jokes online.

Three years later and people still debate if his murder was the right call. Animal rights activists put the blame on authorities for not fencing the enclosure well. Others blame the irresponsible parents of the toddler. But who was Harambe before he was killed? Gorillas, like several large predators, can kill a human in an instant, but was that Harambe’s intention? We’ll never know. 

However, what we do know is that Harambe was a gorilla who died a very unfortunate death. And with that in mind, we honor his life with 20 facts about Harambe we think you should know. 

Last Updated on




Harambe was born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, on May 27, 1999.




He belonged to western lowland silverback gorillas, which are critically endangered. Recent findings reveal there are less than 175,000 the gorillas.


An Origin Story


A local area counselor going by the name of Dan Van Coppenolle was the godfather of the now legendary gorilla. After winning a naming contest sponsored by the zoo, he decided to name the silverback gorilla Harambe.


But Why Harambe?


Van Coppenolle picked the specific name after listening to the song “Harambe” by Rita Marley, widow of Bob Marley.


Harambe's Meaning


Harambee, by the way, is a Swahili term for communal labor.

SEE ALSO: 25 Most Expensive Things In The World »

NOW WATCH: 25 Craziest Medical Treatments In History

Subscribe to List25

What do you think?

3 points
Upvote Downvote
enlarged photos of smiling mouths over man and woman's faces

25 Reasons You Need To Laugh Out Loud Often

nuclear weapons

25 Reasons We Need to Get Rid of Nuclear Weapons