The Philadelphia Zoo Says You Can’t Name Its New Gorilla Harambe

It's a girl, anyway. The zoo picked four possible names, and none of them are Harambe.
Baby gorilla at Philadelphia Zoo

Photo courtesy Philadelphia Zoo

When the Philadelphia Zoo debuted its new baby Gorilla in late August, it enlisted the help of social media to pick her name.

The people spoke. Harambe, they said. Or Harambe II. Or Harambaby. Or Harambae.

But alas, the Philadelphia Zoo has made it clear that it’s not naming its baby (which is a girl) after the 17-year-old male gorilla that was shot at the Cincinnati Zoo in May when a toddler snuck into its pen.

Because, let’s be real, even though Harambe probably (definitely) won the naming contest, that’s not the name the newborn will receive. Instead, the zoo picked four other possible names: Amani, Isangi, Mapendo and Muyisa.

The names were selected in honor of orphaned gorillas at the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or GRACE, which works with gorillas who are victims of poaching.

You can learn more about each of the selected names on the zoo’s website. Those who donate $1 can vote for their favorite of the four names online through 4 p.m. on Thursday. One dollar gets you one vote, so donate as much as you want to vote as much as you want. All proceeds go toward GRACE.

The baby western lowland gorilla is currently living in the PECO Primate Reserve with its mother, Honi.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.