No, Riverbanks is not going to name the new gorilla after Haramb - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

No, Riverbanks is not going to name the new gorilla after Harambe

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The Internet is a strange place sometimes, but you already knew that. 

So, when word got out over Riverbanks Zoo's Macy, a western lowland gorilla, being pregnant and due in May 2017, a West Columbia man set forth in hopes of helping the zoo come up with a name. 

If you've been around the Internet in the past year, then perhaps you know where this is going.

A Change.org petition created by the West Columbia resident seeks to have the zoo name the new gorilla after Internet-famous Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla shot to death after a 3-year-old child fell into his enclosure earlier this year.

"I am asking for Riverbanks Zoo Staff to consider naming the new gorilla infant Harambe, or if it turns out to be female Herambe in memory of the beloved 17 yr old western lowland gorilla whose life was cut short due to said circumstances," the petition reads. "I feel like this would not only bring Riverbanks zoo an increase in revenue due to people pouring in to see the new exhibit but it would also help the healing process of the many people who are still mourning the death of the late Harambe."

At last check, 447 people had signed the petition.

Riverbanks' Macy, meanwhile, appears to be in good health, zoo officials said earlier this week.

"First-time gorilla mothers are, however, more likely to experience challenges related to birth and child-rearing, so we are cautiously optimistic moving forward," John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, said.

We asked Riverbanks if they had seen the petition, and yes, they have, according to spokeswoman Susan O'Cain. O'Cain said currently, the zoo is trying to ensure Macy has a successful pregnancy above all else.

However, O'Cain said, they have not yet discussed a name for the baby and Harambe is not likely going to be it. 

"Harambe was a special animal to many people, and we want to make sure that Riverbanks' first baby gorilla has a unique name all of its own," O'Cain said.

Copyright 2016 WIS. All rights reserved.

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