Koko, the Gorilla Who Could Communicate Using Sign Language, Dies Aged 46 – Memorable Moments and Facts of Her Life (VIDEO)

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The world-famous gorilla, known for her extraordinary mastery of sign language, has passed away at the age of 46.

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RIP, Koko

A gorilla known for her sign language skills has died. The Gorilla Foundation, founded by animal psychologist Francine Patterson, announced Koko’s death.

‘Koko touched the lives of millions as an ambassador for all gorillas and an icon for interspecies communication and empathy. She was beloved and will be deeply missed.’

  • Koko, who was born at the San Francisco Zoo in 1971, was 46.
  • She quickly became famous after was taught sign language by Dr. Francine ‘Penny’ Patterosn.

koko-th-egorilla-photo

Source: Rex

  • She was reportedly able to communicate with humans by using 1,000 words of sign language and capable of understanding 2,000 words of spoken English.
  • Koko’s capacity for language and empathy opened the minds and hearts of millions. She was featured in multiple documentaries and appeared on the cover of National Geographic twice – first time she took the photo herself by pointing the camera at a mirror.

koko-th-egorilla-photo

Source: National Geographic

  • According to The Gorilla Foundation, Koko’s favorite activities were watching television, playing with dolls, writing, reading and nurturing other animals. Her favorite book was The Three Little Kittens.
  • She had several favorite movies and shows, including Free Willy, Pretty Woman, Maid in Manhattan, Dr. Doolittle, and Wild Kingdom. She even had a favorite color: red.

  • Koko counted the late actor Robin Williams and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea among her friends after the stars visited her.

  • Koko had even been credited with an ability to pun — intentionally confusing the words for ‘work’ and ‘rock’ — and play practical jokes. She once tied Patterson’s shoelaces together, then signed ‘chase’.
  • She often signed the word ‘baby’, carried gorilla dolls in her arms, and even pretended that her dolls can sign by moving their arms and hands. She wanted to be a mom bu didn’t had the opportunisy. So, in celebration of the ape’s 44th birthday, her trainer Francine Patterson introduced her to some other babies – a litter of kittens.

  • Patterson also reports that she has documented Koko inventing new signs to communicate novel thoughts. For example, she says that nobody taught Koko the word for “ring”, but to refer to it, Koko combined the words “finger” and “bracelet”, hence “finger-bracelet”.

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Summary
Koko, the Gorilla Who Could Communicate Using Sign Language, Dies Aged 46 - Memorable Moments and Facts of Her Life (VIDEO)
Title
Koko, the Gorilla Who Could Communicate Using Sign Language, Dies Aged 46 - Memorable Moments and Facts of Her Life (VIDEO)
Description
The world-famous gorilla, known for her extraordinary mastery of sign language, has passed away at the age of 46.
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