The death of Harambe the gorilla in the Cincinnati zoo on May 28 has unleashed a torrent of outrage on the internet. And as so often happens in such situations, people who had nothing to do with the incident are now the subject of online harassment and threats.
In the case of the outrage over Harambe's death by shooting after a 4-year-old boy fell into his enclosure, the New York Daily News reports that online vigilantes have been targeting an Ohio mother named Michelle Gregg, who happens to share the same name with the mother of the 4-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure on Saturday.
Gregg has received a slew of vicious messages over Facebook relating to her supposed involvement in Harambe's death.
"Ur scum u need ur kids taking off u sick b---- u should’ve been shot dirty selfish b----," one woman wrote.
"U are a f---ing killer!!!!" said another.
"Ur scum u need ur kids taking off u sick [expletive] u should’ve been shot dirty selfish [expletive]," a particularly hostile private message reads.
Gregg took screenshots of messages which wrongly accused her of being the 4-year-old's mother, as well as screenshots of her own replies. She told the individuals leaving messages on her account that the other Michelle Gregg had taken down her Facebook and she wished them a "blessed day," according to Epoch Times.
She later made a meme-style photo showing a picture of her and her own son, which reads: "This Michelle has never even been to the Cincinnati Zoo! … Neither has my 5-year-old son!"
The other Michelle Gregg reportedly posted a comment on Facebook before deleting it shortly after. The message read:
As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child and if anyone knows me I keep a tight watch on my kids, Accidents happen. God protected my child until the authorities were able to get to him. My son is safe and was able to walk away with a concussion and a few scrapes… no broken bones or internal injuries.
A petition on Change.org, which has so far garnered more than 100,000 signatures, has called for child services to investigate the mother.