Thursday, June 21, 2018

Very Sad

Koko the gorilla passed away today. She was 46.

Koko was a warm and kind person, and I know "person" isn't technically correct, but she demonstrated qualities that many humans lack: kindness, warmth, and empathy.

By any standard, she was amazing. Her handler (Francine Patterson) estimated that she knew 1,000 symbols in sign language, and understood 2,000 spoken English words.

She also loved kittens, and cared for quite a few during her long life. She also loved Mr. Rogers, because who doesn't?

Here are a few stories, all with some video:
Koko the Gorilla, Famous for Learning Sign Language, Has Died
Koko The Gorilla Dies; Redrew The Lines Of Animal-Human Communication
Koko, the Cat-Loving Gorilla Who Learned Sign Language, Dies at 46 (excellent video of her and her kittens along with the story)

The groundbreaking research of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and BirutÄ— Galdikas greatly expanded our understanding of great apes and chimpanzees (and was more important in a scientific sense), but Koko bridged the gap between us in an extraordinarily personal way.

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