Watch Koko the signing gorilla in this clip from a 1981 National Geographic documentary. Koko died in her sleep on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.
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Read more in “Why Koko the Gorilla Mattered”

Watch Koko the Gorilla Use Sign Language in This 1981 Film | National Geographic

National Geographic



  1. To argue whether language is uniquely human doesn't make sense. Every animal is able to communicate with others of their kind with their own unique "language". Koko's ability to communicate through sign language and to learn words should not be thought of as extraordinary. I think we would be astounded if animals could talk what they would know.

  2. I can't say that I think KoKo fully understood on a human level everything Penny taught her but I do believe she greatly understood more than we think. I also found it hilarious that Penny asked Koko what was wrong with the picture of the woman and the tiger together when Penny was with Koko

  3. im really really surprised about her intelligence. She ' very smart. But Im so sad when i heard she had died. I I hope there will be another Gorilla could be the second KOKO. I love her so much

  4. She was so special and had more Empathy and Compassion than most humans.  I enjoyed watching her videos and was amazed at her abilities. I only found them about 2 weeks ago and am heartbroken to read that she has passed.  I am happy though that she had such a good life, full of love, care and learning and fun!!Rest in Peace Koko…….you brought happiness and smiles to everyone you met, you made a difference in this world……..sending love to Heaven to you Koko……Rhonda, Bob and Family……

  5. Thank you Koko for showing us a glimpse of your world, for talking to us, and for showing how compassionate and intelligent you were. Yours was a life enriched by language, but limited by captivity and the yearning for babies. Complex, like the human condition. R.I.P. with your kittens, sweet Koko


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