Koko the sign-language gorilla has died at 46

Gorilla Koko

Koko the gorilla who mastered sign language, raised kittens and once playfully tried on the glasses of the late actor Robin Williams, has died. Per the organization, Koko and the Foundation moved in to the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1979, where Koko and her fellow primates, Michael and Ndume, served as ambassadors for the species.

Patterson began working with Koko at a young age to teach her sign language.

That same year, Schroeder filmed her for the feature docu "Koko: A Talking Gorilla", which played in Un Certain Regard in Cannes.

Saying that Koko's awesome capacity for language and empathy "opened the minds and hearts of millions", the foundation added: "The foundation will continue to honor Koko's legacy and advance our mission with ongoing projects including conservation efforts in Africa, the great ape sanctuary on Maui, and a sign language application featuring Koko for the benefit of both gorillas and children".

Throughout her life, Koko adopted several felines, using sign language to give them names like All Ball, Lipstick and Smoky.

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"She was beloved and will be deeply missed". In 2014, Koko mourned Williams' passing.

Koko, a western lowland gorilla, was born on the Fourth of July in 1971. She also understood spoken speech.

She liked to read and be read to, a blog post by The Gorilla Foundation said. During her lifetime, Koko met plenty of famous people who came to see her and marvel at her communication skills.

The foundation says she has taught the world a profound amount about the emotional capacity and cognitive abilities of gorillas.

If you were a kid in the '90s, you wanted to do three things: go to Space Camp, complete the Temple Run on Legends of the Hidden Temple, and meet Koko, the sign language gorilla.


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