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RIP (you will always be in our hearts): Famous gorilla Koko who could do sign language has died at the age of 46

Koko’s impact has been profound and what she has taught us about the emotional capacity of gorillas and their cognitive abilities will continue to shape the world.

TANVEER MANN: ‘The popular gorilla, known for her extraordinary mastery of sign language, has passed away at the age of 46. Koko died in her sleep. The Gorilla Foundation announced her passing and said: “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 was born on July 4, 1971 at the San Francisco Zoo and was named Hanabi-ko (Japanese for ‘Fireworks Child’).

She quickly became famous after was taught sign language by Dr. Francine ‘Penny’ Patterson… Koko’s capacity for language and empathy opened the minds and hearts of millions… The foundation said in their statement: “Koko’s impact has been profound and what she has taught us about the emotional capacity of gorillas and their cognitive abilities will continue to shape the world. The foundation will continue to honor Koko’s legacy and advance our mission with ongoing projects including conservation efforts in Africa, the great ape sanctuary on Maui, and a sign language application featuring Koko for the benefit of both gorillas and children”.’ SOURCE…

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