Jill Stein tweets memorial for gorilla, internet meme and poll rival Harambe

  • Green candidate: zoo death ‘reminds us to be voice for the voiceless’
  • Recent Texas poll put Stein and animal level in presidential contest

Two weeks after she polled even with the dead gorilla Harambe in a survey of Texas voters, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said on Sunday that the primate’s killing by Cincinnati zookeepers in May was a reminder to speak up for those who cannot.

“The killing of Harambe 3 months ago today reminds us to be a voice for the voiceless,” Stein tweeted, with a link to a statement she originally issued in early June.

The statement called for “protections for the rights of animals”. The Stein campaign did not immediately reply to a request for elaboration on Sunday’s tweet.

Harambe, a 17-year-old silverback gorilla, was shot dead after grabbing a three-year-old boy who had climbed into its enclosure and dragging him through a moat.

The episode has inspired a circus of online activity – Harambe is a meme – that grew so intense last week that the Cincinnati zoo asked people to stop talking about the incident.

“We are not amused by the memes, petitions and signs about Harambe,” director Thane Maynard said. “Our zoo family is still healing and the constant mention of Harambe makes moving forward more difficult for us.”

Gorilla drags boy through water at Cincinnati zoo

This week, the zoo deactivated its social media accounts. Maynard’s own Twitter account was previously hacked and filled with messages about Harambe.

Stein and Harambe attracted an equal share of support, 2%, from likely Texas voters surveyed on their opinions of the presidential contest between 12 and 14 August by Public Policy Polling. A RealClearPolitics polling average has Stein’s national support at 3.3%.

Contributor

Tom McCarthy

The GuardianTramp

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