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
Actor Katy Sullivan Makes the Most Thoughtful Case Yet for Casting Authenticity
Over the weekend, The Rock’s latest action flick, Skyscraper, took home a mildly disappointing $25 million in its opener. Even as...July 17, 2018
One Person, At Least, Was Happy Maurizio Gucci Was Murdered
In a new documentary for People, the magazine does a deep dive into the scandalous events surrounding the murder of Maurizio...July 17, 2018
Second ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Trailer Dives Into Freddie Mercury’s Personal Life
Twentieth Century Fox on Tuesday released the second trailer for November’s Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and it is fire. Up til...July 17, 2018
Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson Are in Couples Therapy
Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson are reportedly in couples therapy. The new parents hit some roadblocks when Thompson was allegedly caught...July 17, 2018
Nickelodeon Announces Big ‘Rugrats’ News
Nickelodeon has announced some big Rugrats news. Not only will the TV show be getting a relaunch, but the cartoon series...July 17, 2018
Mandy Moore Announces Her Return to Music
Mandy Moore has announced her return to music after a long hiatus. Many people think of Moore as an actress first,...July 17, 2018