"Soft good cat cat." - Koko
|Koko learned sign language by just seeing the sign, spoken words and both at the same time. Koko has learned over 1000 signs and can listen to people speak and respond to what they are saying. There is a documentary on you tube that is broken down in to
eight videos that show how smart and amazing Koko is. Once you get done watching the
[1/8], click on [2/8] and so on, until you've reached [8/8], the last.
The picture above is priceless. It shows that there are many things in this world that can surprise you. The picture of Koko the gorilla and a grey tabby kitten (a kitten similar to All Ball, her first kitten) will forever be one of the cutest pictures ever taken. Koko is a Western Lowland gorilla, born July 4th, 1971. She is known for the use of sign language and is the best non-human signer in the world. Koko can also show affection to animals other than gorillas, as in this picture—treating the kitten like her own baby. This just shows how capable Gorillas can be.
It's possible that in the future gorillas could stay, say, at some Miami hotels, or better yet go to a Cubs game in Chicago, then stay at one of the many Chicago hotels. (There would have to be a separate rooms, of course— maybe in a separate side of the hotel—for this to actually happen, or special areas at the ball park for gorillas.) Perhaps one can only imagine such things. Gorillas can't be people's pets, but in Koko's case I think she just might be able to pull off a gorilla staying in a hotel or a gorilla going to a pall park.
You can see that there is a link between gorillas and humans; it just takes a special gorilla and a patient, special human. Koko's human companion is Francine Patterson, who has been working with Koko since Koko's birth. Today Francine is President and Research Director of The Gorilla Foundation.