Harambe’s official photographer, Jeff McCurry, snapped the up-for-auction image of the silverback’s first day at the Cincinnati Zoo, according to BBC. The auction’s organizers told the outlet that the photo had been shared online more than five billion times.
The viral gorilla was fatally shot after dragging a three-year-old boy who entered into his enclosure five years ago. His death garnered major traction across social media and sparked several viral hashtags, including #RIPHarambe and #JusticeForHarambe.
The shooting of Harambe was met with heavy backlash from animal rights activists. But zoo officials claimed that even if harm was unintended, the 400-pound animal could have critically injured the boy.
Harambe is the latest meme to enter the metaverse. Earlier this year, “Overly Attached Girlfriend” sold for a whopping $555,000 USD and “Nyan Cat” was auctioned off for $560,000 USD. Meanwhile, “Charlie Bit My Finger” sold for a jaw-dropping &760,000 USD last week.