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The Eastern Echo Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo


The history of April Fools' Day can be traced back to the Cincinnati Zoo

April Fools' Day is not just a holiday, its a tribute.

Note: this article was published as a part of the Echo's 2020 April Fool's Day content.

April Fools Day is celebrated across the world with fun jokes and pranks, but one question remains ... where did this unofficial holiday originate?

Like many other things in our society, it can all be traced back to Harambe, the beloved gorilla.

In 2016 a young boy fell into the gorilla enclosure, fearing for the boy's safety a zoo worker shot and killed the gorilla, Harambe.

So, how did this tragic incident lead to a national holiday? Lets continue.

It turns out the zoo keeper who killed Harambe was new and didn't know that this incident was actually staged. That's right, the incident was planned out so that Harambe could save the child and be the hero of the Cincinnati Zoo.

The zoo keepers have been working on this trick for months. They would run drills after the zoo closed every night and teach Harambe to protect and rescue the child (they practiced with a doll for the first few months).

On May 28, 2016, the drill was supposed to take place but the new worker ruined it.

One worker who wishes to remain anonymous remembers yelling out to him at the time of the incident.

"It's an ape drill, fool!" the worker said.

Globally, people were devastated at the death of Harambe, they shared grief and keep his memory alive by sharing memes of the handsome beast. But this wasn't enough, people united on the internet and decided to turn the ape drill incident into something people love - jokes and pranks.

People around the world chose a day - April first - to partake in pranks in honor of the deceased gorilla.

People began using the phrase "ape drill, fools," just like the line that was yelled after Harambe's assassination. Soon, however, people got this confused with the date of the holiday and eventually began saying "April fools."

Eastern Michigan student Alan Stone said he still dresses up as a gorilla every year on April first to keep Harambe's memory alive.

"The ape drill was such a tragic day," Stone said. "Each year on April first I put on the (gorilla) costume and pull pranks on the people in my neighborhood."

Never forget Harambe. This April first, remember to look up at the sky and say "ape drill, fool."

(Don't believe a word of this story, it is completely made up! April Fools!)