Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

SHARE Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46
koko_health_2260587_e1529590398345.jpg

Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has died. | AP file Photo/Ronald Cohn, National Geographic Society

WOODSIDE, Calif. — Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has died.

The Gorilla Foundation says the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in her sleep at the foundation’s preserve in California’s Santa Cruz mountains on Tuesday.

Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo, and Dr. Francine Patterson began teaching the gorilla sign language that became part of a Stanford University project in 1974.

The foundation says Koko’s capacity for language and empathy opened the minds and hearts of millions.

Koko appeared in many documentaries and twice in National Geographic. The gorilla’s 1978 cover featured a photo that the animal had taken of herself in a mirror.

The foundation says it will honor Koko’s legacy with a sign language application featuring Koko for the benefit of gorillas and children, as well as other projects.

The Latest
Yet, the Sueños headliner filled Grant Park for the first night of Chicago’s biggest annual Latin music event.
Festival organizers made the announcement over social media, advising attendees to wait until further notice before heading to Grant Park.
After Fred Brems digitized the photos his father took during the war, he was inspired to compile them into a book. “Knights of Freedom” retells his father’s service through letters, stories and historical documents.
Una multitud se dio cita en el Grant Park para disfrutar del mayor festival de música latina de la ciudad, que se espera que vuelva a congregar a un público alegre el domingo.
Agnieszka, 14, would disappoint her parents if she Americanized it.