Koko was a western lowland Gorilla that showed the world the deep empathetic and emotional side of animals. She became one of the most famous members of her species with her mind-blowing language and expression skills. You would recall her as the sign language Gorilla but she had many more amazing talents. She could communicate with humans like humans helping us understand the evolution of the apes.
Could Sign and Express
One of her most remarkable talents was her ability to learn the American Sign language. She had a vocabulary of 1000 words and used it to communicate with the humans around her. When her beloved pet named ‘All Ball’ by her died of an unfortunate accident, she expressed her grief by signing words like ‘Sorry’, ‘Sad’, ‘Cat’, ‘Cry’, ‘Koko-Love’.
Comprehend the English Language
According to The Gorilla Foundation, she had the ability to understand almost 2000 words of spoken English. She was able to comprehend questions like ‘Where do Gorillas go when they die?’ by giving a response that ‘Comfortable hole bye’. The world first noticed her when she appeared on the cover of National Geographic some 40 years ago, with a picture of her that she took of herself in the mirror. People were amazed by her extraordinary charm.
Deeply Fond Of Cats
Koko had a deep affection for cats. Even her choice of favourite movies ‘Puss In Boots’ shows us glimpses of it. In fact, she even had a pet kitten whom she loved dearly. She nursed the kitten like her own child which also brought her to the limelight. The adorable picture of the Gorilla with the kitten on the National Geographic’s cover was her second feature. When the kitten died she expressed a lot of grief and signed a few words for the same.
Her Celebrity Friends
Koko had many visitors and some of the famous friends she made include the Robin Williams and Flea, the bass guitarist of Red Hot Chilli Peppers. She had a lot of fun while rocking it out with the musician and shared a few laughs with him. If she remembered Flea or not is an unanswered question. But with Robin, she seemed to have a different connection. The Gorilla Foundation stated that she expressed a sad behaviour when she was informed of the actor’s death. This could show that she remembered him.
Animal psychologist Francine Patterson received Koko as a research project at the age of 1 but she grew so fond of her that she was able to adopt her after raising $12000. Koko will be buried in The Gorilla Foundation in California and honoured for her remarkable talents and insights she has given us into the animal psychology.