The Philadelphia Zoo Is Holding A Contest To Name A Baby Gorilla — What Could Go Wrong? (Everything)

Letting the internet name things is the best and worst idea. The crowdsourcing could lead to something truly magical, like Boaty McBoatface and Make Burger History, but it could also go terribly, terribly wrong. In the case of the Philadelphia Zoo, it’s probably the latter. For some totally inexplicable reason, the zoo is holding a contest to name a new baby gorilla, who was born on Friday. You can probably see where this is going.

Honi and Motuba’s child made his or her debut (zookeepers haven’t been able to determine a gender yet) today. According to, the baby — who has a 14-year-old sibling in Kuchimba, Honi’s son — is “expected to remain at the zoo for a number of years, zoo officials said when Honi’s pregnancy was announced this spring. Young gorillas typically stay with their mothers until they are 7 to 10 years old.” And in that time, the world will love him/her as…

There were a few non-Harambe suggestions:

But it was mostly variations on Harambe (there’s a good name: Variations on Harambe) or flat-out racism, which we’ll ignore. This is what mankind has always dreamed of: naming a baby gorilla — don’t be a dick about it. That makes Harambe (#RIP) angry. You wouldn’t like Harambe when he’s angry.