China’s Jinhua Zoo Names Baby Gorilla Harambe McHarambeface?

A hoax news article blended several memes when it reported that a zoo named a baby gorilla Harambe McHarambeface.

Image via Flickr

Claim

A zoo in China named a baby gorilla Harambe McHarambeface.

Rating

Origin

On 10 September 2016, the entertainment web site Boston Leader published an article claiming that a zoo in China held an online naming contest for a baby gorilla and that “Harambe McHarambeface” ended up as the winning entry:

A naming contest held for a baby gorilla at Jinhua Zoo, located in China’s central Zhejiang province, has announced the winning entry – which captured over 93% of all votes cast online – as “Harambe McHarambeface.” 

While the Boston Leader’s article was picked up by news outlets, this story is a hoax; the Jinhua Zoo did not name a baby gorilla “Harambe McHarambeFace.”  The Boston Leader claims that it has been “bringing you Boston’s best news since 1932,” but the web site was started on 9 September 2016, a day before the baby gorilla story was published. 

Furthermore, while Boston Leader claimed to glean its information from statements a local Jinhua Zoo official gave to local media outlets, we found no record of the Jinhua Zoo commenting on a baby gorilla named Harambe McHarambeface, nor its alleged Chinese name “Heijin.” . 

This hoax news story from the Boston Leader spoofed two big internet stories from 2016: The death of Harambe, a gorilla shot at a Cincinnati zoo after a child fell into its enclosure, and almost naming a British research vessel “Boaty McBoatface” (after a public contest) after an online contest.

Dear Reader,

Snopes.com has long been engaged in the battle against misinformation, an effort we could not sustain without support from our audience. Producing reliable fact-checking and thorough investigative reporting requires significant resources. We pay writers, editors, web developers, and other staff who work tirelessly to provide you with an invaluable service: evidence-based, contextualized analysis of facts. Help us keep Snopes.com strong. Make a direct contribution today. Learn More.

Donate with PayPal