POLITICS
05/31/2016 02:18 pm ET

Online Interest In Gorilla Eclipses Interest In Donald Trump

Harambe surpassed the Republican candidate in trending Internet searches.

Donald Trump has dominated media airwaves, Internet searches and public discourse ever since he announced his campaign for the presidency last year. 

But on Tuesday, Americans' searches for gorilla news briefly eclipsed their interest in looking up the presumptive Republican nominee. According to Google Trends, which monitors search interest online, the term "Gorilla" overtook the term "Donald Trump." The numbers represent the relative popularity of different searches, and are not absolute. 

Below is a screenshot from Google Trends taken around 1:30 p.m. EST.

The relative searches for Gorilla and Donald Trump.
Google Trends
The relative searches for Gorilla and Donald Trump.

People are searching for the term "gorilla" because zookeepers at the Cincinnati Zoo this weekend shot Harambe, a 17-year-old western lowland gorilla, after a 4-year-old boy fell into the primate's enclosure.

Footage of Harambe picking up the boy went viral online, and on Tuesday, Yahoo reporter Hunter Walker asked Trump at a press conference about the zoo's decision to kill the endangered animal.

Trump gave a long answer, and the ease with which he opined on a decision by zoologists left many in the room speechless. "There were moments with the gorilla, the way he held that child, it was almost like a mother holding a baby," Trump said.

"I don't think they had a choice," he added about shooting the animal. "It's too bad there wasn't another way."

Zoo officials on Tuesday defended the decision to shoot the critically endangered anima, citing the imminent danger to the trapped boy.

 

Ariel Edwards-Levy contributed reporting.  

 

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