June 22, 2018 Koko, likely the world’s most famous gorilla, has died. The Gorilla Foundation says the 46-year-old western lowland […]
June 22, 2018
Koko, likely the world’s most famous gorilla, has died.
The Gorilla Foundation says the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in her sleep at the foundation’s preserve in California’s Santa Cruz mountains on Tuesday.
Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo, and Dr. Francine Patterson began teaching the gorilla sign language that became part of a Stanford University project in 1974.
In her long life, Koko mastered over 1,000 American Sign Language signs taught to her by her caretaker, reports BBC.
With these signs, Koko was able to express her feelings, showing joy over receiving a pet kitten and sadness of the death of celebrity friend Robin Williams.
Through this communications and countless more, the gorilla gained fans worldwide who marveled at her ability to connect with humans and made them questions the intelligence of animals.