Koko "The Speaking Gorilla" Passed Away At The Age Of 46

Animals

June 22, 2018 13:30 By Fabiosa

Koko, the “speaking” gorilla, died at the age of 46. Adopted by the Stanford student, Francine Patterson, the animal learned more than 1,000 signs and could understand more than 2,000 English words.

Amazing ape

What began as a simple experiment, ended up in a long-term friendship. Francine just wanted an animal for her inter-species animal communication experiment back at the beginning of the 1970s. That is when she found Koko – a San Francisco gorilla originally named Hanabi-ko (“firework child”) due to the birth on fourth of July. Koko was learning very quickly.

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Soon, she even could express such emotions as sadness when she was watching a movie and show a desire to have a baby. Koko welcomed several famous guests to her home in California, including Robin Williams and Mr. Rogers. Unfortunately, the gorilla wasn’t able to become a mother by herself. Luckily, she could adopt babies, but she didn’t opt for the apes.

Her passion for cats was witnessed on her birthday in 1985 when she was allowed to pick a “child.” Koko called a cat “All Ball” and always nursed it gently. On her 44th birthday, gorilla received two more cats, Ms. Grey and Ms. Black, but unfortunately, she couldn’t spend a lot of time with her new adopted “kids.”

Sad news

The sign-language speaking gorilla died at the age of 46. Even though the years of controversies pursued Koko and Francine, the two understood there was nothing more important than their bond and friendship.

Koko provided a deep insight in the area of animal communication capabilities. She allowed the scientists to understand the apes are intelligent and sentimental creatures, feeling emotions just like humans do.

READ ALSO: Human Doctors Helped This Endangered Gorilla Give Birth. And Her Baby Is The Cutest!

Condolences

Social media users pay their sad tributes to the deceased animal. Hundreds of condolences are expressed to Koko’s most beloved friend Francine.

Hopefully, the woman will stay strong and live through the loss peacefully.

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