Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Koko the famously social gorilla dies in California

Koko the famously social gorilla dies in California

Koko the gorilla passed away Tuesday morning in her sleep at the age of 46.

Patterson began working with Koko at a young age to teach her sign language.

"Koko touched the lives of millions as an ambassador for all gorillas and an icon for interspecies communication and empathy", the release said.

Video footage from that time shows Patterson playing games with the baby gorilla and teaching her how to sign. Koko and The Gorilla Foundation then moved to Santa Cruz Mountains.

Koko appeared in several documentaries and twice in National Geographic in 1978 and 1985.

According to The Gorilla Foundation, Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo on July 4, 1971.

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When "Good Will Hunting" actor Williams committed suicide in 2014, Koko was said to have been particularly upset.

"Her impact has been profound and what she has taught us about the emotional capacity of gorillas and their cognitive abilities will continue to shape the world", the foundation said.

Koko was also famous for her incredible maternal instincts, and on her 44th birthday she was granted her ultimate wish when she adopted two kittens.

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.

A book called Koko's Kitten followed, which is used in schools worldwide. There, with Dr. Ronald Cohn, she started The Gorilla Foundation.

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