Planet Earth

In Memoriam: Koko the Gorilla

The sign-language-speaking ape passed away this year.

By Mark BarnaJan 1, 2019 12:00 PM
(Credit: Ron Cohn/The Gorilla Foundation/Koko.org)

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

For more than four decades, Koko the gorilla and her American Sign Language (ASL) skills captured the public’s attention. Born in 1971 at the San Francisco Zoo, the western lowland gorilla began learning ASL the following year from Penny Patterson, then a graduate student in psychology. Koko, shown here holding All Ball, a kitten she named herself, raised awareness of her critically endangered species through frequent media appearances, and reshaped attitudes about animal intelligence. She died in her sleep on June 19, at age 46.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.