Koko the gorilla did not just know thousands of American Sign Language (ASL), she also revealed to us how animals can also love and grieve their loved ones.
Koko was a celebrity during the course of her life for her renowned ability to have an extended vocabulary and language comprehension.
She could demonstrate 1,000 signs of ASL as well as the ability to understand 2,000 words of spoken English
She once listened to her keeper, Dr, Francine Petterson and another zoologist debating whether she was a ‘juvenile’ or an ‘adolescent’. The smart mammal later interrupted the group debate in sign language: “No, me gorilla!”
Thanks to her abilities, Koko has also appeared with many Hollywood stars including Leonardo DiCaprio and Robin Williams.
Most importantly, she also changed the way science perceived apes—that this species is capable of reasoning the world and has an emotional depth that no other species have shown so far
Even though she had the best of her time being a Hollywood celebrity, all Koko wanted was to be a mother.
When asked what she wanted the most when she was nine, Koko would hold her elbows and rocked her arms side to side, the sign of cradling an infant
Koko loved to pretend to feed and nurse her dolls and even ‘scold’ them as a human child.
When visitors showed photos of their children to Koko, she would take the pictures and kissed them.
Unfortunately, she passed away before she could fulfill her wish to be a mother. Koko died in her sleep at the age of 46 on June 19, 2018 at the Gorilla Foundation’s preserve in Woodside, California
Even though she came from a different species, Koko showed to use that love transcends all species.
Watch this mini documentary about Koko the gorilla here