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Did This Zoo REALLY Just Let The Public Name Its Baby Gorilla 'Harambe McHarambeface'?!

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Sometimes, wacky Internet stuff is too good to be true — and with today’s news about a Harambe-inspired baby gorilla, it appears that’s the case!
According to a site called the Boston Leader, Jinhua Zoo in China was said to have held an online vote to name a baby gorilla, only to have pranksters hijack it with the name Harambe McHarambeface!
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Actually, probably not…
The suspicious site reports that the naming contest caught fire with more than 73,000 votes — 93% of the entire total — for Harambe McHarambeface, a combination of the late gorilla’s name with that of a boat naming contest that got out of control.
A spokesman for the Chinese zoo allegedly discussed the contest, telling the media:

“We do hope it will attract more foreign visitors to Jinhua in future. It is nearly impossible to render Harambe McHarambeface in Chinese language so we hope those who voted will accept that we have decided to give him a different Chinese name.”

That’s wild!
… And it’s also probably not true.
Nowhere can any legitimate Chinese- or English-speaking news outlet find evidence that this naming contest took place, and several reports note that Jinhua Zoo has no social media accounts and hasn’t updated its website in three years!
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Furthermore, it turns out that the Boston Leader — the site that broke the story, and which claims to have been in business for more than 80 years — was only just created last week.
So yeah… this is probably not true.
The hoax was likely inspired by the Philadelphia Zoo, which IS holding a naming contest for a new baby gorilla (pictured above), but there’s a catch: the zoo is going to choose the names the public can vote on — NO write-in submissions!
And no, according to the zoo, those names will NOT include Harambe McHarambeface, or anything Harambe related.
[Image via Philadelphia Zoo/Instagram.]

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Sep 13, 2016 12:35pm PDT