Gorillas can communicate using a wide variety of methods such as blows to the chest, grunts, howls, among others. But some have also been taught to communicate as to human beings. As a sign of this feat we have the story of Koko, the gorilla who dominated and learned to use sign language, unfortunately died at age 46, The Gorilla Foundationannounced in a statement.
It was reported that Koko died in Woodside, California, in the reserve of the Gorilla Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to study and protect apes. C reacted and directed by Francine Patterson last Tuesday.
“KOKO TOUCHED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS AS AN AMBASSADOR FOR ALL GORILLAS AND AN ICON FOR COMMUNICATION AND EMPATHY BETWEEN SPECIES. IT WAS LOVED AND WILL BE DEEPLY MISSED, “ACCORDING TO THE STATEMENT.
Who was Koko?
The gorilla was born in the San Francisco Zoo in 1971. It was called Hanabi-ko, which means “child of fireworks” in Japanese, although she was always known by her nickname, Koko.
It was in San Francisco where Koko met the animal psychologist, Francine “Penny” Patterson. For the next year, Patterson taught him an adapted version of the American Sign Language, which he nicknamed “Gorilla’s Sign Language” or GSL.
It was a gorilla that connected not only with humans but also with other animals. “Their ability to communicate and their empathy opened the minds and hearts of millions,” the foundation wrote.
Koko, a cover gorilla
This mammal had the opportunity to appear in multiple documentaries and twice on the cover of National Geographic. Its first cover, was in October of 1978, which showed a photograph that the gorilla had taken of itself in a mirror. The second issue, in January 1985, included the story of Koko and her kitten, All Ball.
— Nat Geo Channel (@NatGeoChannel) June 21, 2018
After the article, the book Koko’s Kitten was published, which is used in some elementary schools in the United States.
“HER IMPACT HAS BEEN PROFOUND AND WHAT SHE HAS TAUGHT US ABOUT THE EMOTIONAL CAPACITY OF THE GORILLAS AND THEIR COGNITIVE ABILITIES WILL CONTINUE TO SHAPE THE WORLD,” SAID FRANCINE PATTERSON.
Koko the gorilla, who is said to have been able to communicate by using more than 1,000 hand signs, has died in California at the age of 46. Here she is on BBC News in 1985, with her kitten friend. pic.twitter.com/HA4dFrqlW7
— BBC Archive (@BBCArchive) June 21, 2018