Koko "The Speaking Gorilla" Passed Away At The Age Of 46
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.
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.
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.”
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 the gorilla has sadly died, aged 46.— BBC (@BBC) June 21, 2018
Here's the story of her life. pic.twitter.com/rIRb7mHpJx
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.
Social media users pay their sad tributes to the deceased animal. Hundreds of condolences are expressed to Koko’s most beloved friend Francine.
When I was a little girl my grandmother told me about Koko and we read the book about her kitten. I was at an age when the world was seeming less "magical", which in some ways is normal and good, but Koko, who really could talk, made me feel there was still wonder&magic out there— magnolia (@MagnoliaPearl) June 21, 2018
My favourite story about this gorilla is when she got a kitten to look after. A while later zookeepers found a sink had been ripped off the wall and when Koko was asked who did it she blamed the kitten. A legendary scammer RIP https://t.co/pWqzbrX0rc— Michael Fry (@BigDirtyFry) June 21, 2018
RIP KOKO THE GORILLA. YOU WERE A REAL ONE. XO. pic.twitter.com/My5JA8a9iH— ~RePTyLiAN BoNeR~ 2 (@hotdogfever69) June 21, 2018
Hopefully, the woman will stay strong and live through the loss peacefully.