The Gorilla Foundation on Thursday announced that world-famous Koko the gorilla passed away in her sleep overnight at the age of 46.
Koko the gorilla is perhaps best known for her uncanny ability with American sign language. At an early age, the primate demonstrated the ability to sign more 1000 words and understand as many as 2000 words. She was also a natural celebrity with a charming personality all her own.
She made friends with Robin Williams, more than one kitty, and even Mr. Rogers himself. In fact, when Koko originally met her TV idol, she reportedly tried to repeat the move she’d seen him do so many times on screen. Koko tried to take his shoes off.
Koko the gorilla once ripped a sink out of the wall and, when her keepers confronted her about it, she blamed her kitten, signing "cat did it." That HAD been my favorite Koko story, until I saw this:
RIP to an absolute legend pic.twitter.com/sH6mGQVVZ3
— Red Durkin (@RedIsDead) June 21, 2018
Koko the gorilla’s immense celebrity allowed her primary trainer, Dr. Francine “Penny” Patterson, to launch the Gorilla Foundation, a non-profit organization that “dedicated to the preservation, protection and well-being of gorillas and other great apes through interspecies communication research and education.”
Over the course of her illustrious forty-plus-year career, Koko helped spread a message of conservation across the planet. She appeared on the cover of National Geographic twice. The magazine even used a picture that Koko had taken for the first cover in 1978.
Through her good will, her lovable playfulness, and her affinity for kittens of all shapes and sizes, Koko the gorilla left a legacy that not even Benji himself could stand up to.
She will be missed.
More in News
Sophie Turner Quitting Acting
The Game of Thrones actress has been done filming Season 8 since last summer, and apparently she’s been on a hiatus...April 17, 2019
Hoda Kotb Adopts Her Second Child
Following Tuesday morning’s episode of Today, the co-anchor announced via phone that she has adopted a second child, a daughter named...April 16, 2019
Wendy Williams Files for Divorce
Yesterday, it was confirmed that the daytime talk show host has officially filed for divorce from her husband of over two...April 12, 2019
Nipsey Hussle Memorial Service Draws Thousands
The late rapper’s ‘Celebration of Life’ is taking place at the Staples Center today, and TMZ is live streaming what’s expected...April 11, 2019
Charles Van Doren Dead at 93
Charles Van Doren, one of the most infamous TV game show contestants of all time, has passed away. According to...April 10, 2019
Kim Kardashian Taking Bar Exam in 2022
The reality star has plans to follow in her father Robert Kardashian’s footsteps by becoming an attorney, and she’s aiming to...April 10, 2019