Koko Love

I want to remember someone who gave me joy and hope and inspiration every time I heard her story or saw her. Ambassador, Educator, Artist, Friend to Many, and Lover of Kittens, Koko the Gorilla died Tuesday night in her sleep, aged forty-six, at her home in Woodside, California.

Koko, and her caregivers, did more than anyone else to shatter the notion that non-human animals are capable of very human emotions and behaviors, including speech, play, and creative thought.

There are many articles and videos out there. Time spent with Koko is well worth it. You can see in this grand old gorilla lady the face of humanity and the loving nature of creation.

This post is titled with her most famous quote, which she signed again and again: "Koko love." Koko loved her adopted kittens. Koko loved her lifetime trainer, Dr. Francine “Penny” Patterson. She loved making new friends. And she loved being understood.

She will be missed. But she helped humanity be a little more humane, and that legacy will live on.

The Gorilla Foundation supported Koko, made her story possible, and works to protect her kin. Please consider a donation in her honor.

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