Entertaining real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on September 4th, 2018
Koko (1971 – 2018), An intelligent gorilla with amazing talents.

Koko and Penny Patterson
Koko and Penny Patterson
Photo: koko.org

Born in the San Francisco Zoo, Koko met Penny Patterson, then a Stanford graduate student, in 1972.

Penny who was to become an animal psychologist, began teaching her sign language, and the two bonded like mother and daughter.

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After forming the Gorilla Foundation in 1976, Penny got custody of Koko, and would eventually teach her over 1000-signs and more than 2,000 English language words.

This meant Koko could “speak” to us, a subject that fascinated people.

Koko never had babies of her own (nor did her psychologist Penny) but Koko did enjoy keeping kittens as pets and cuddled them gently in her giant arms.

Koko
Photo: koko.org

She also developed feelings for people, one of whom was comedian Robin Williams.

When told of his death in 2014, Koko “became very somber, with her head bowed and lip quivering,” according to the Gorilla Foundation.

Koko
Koko and Robin Williams
Photo: youtube.com

Twice she graced the cover of National Geographic, one cover being a photo Koko took of herself looking into a mirror.

Koko had a huge following and when she passed away in her sleep at age 46, the world mourned her passing, but celebrated her remarkable life.

Editor's Note: To see a compelling 4-minute, 40-second video of Koko and Penny, click here. To see a heartwarming 2-minute, 41-second video of Koko with Robin Williams, Mister Rogers and playing with kittens, click here.

To learn more, click here and here. To visit the Gorilla Foundation, click here.

Great Apes have over 98% of matching DNA with humans, the same blood types and until six -million years ago, a common ancestor. In the wild, Koko’s life expectancy would have been 30 – 40 years.

In the next KazanToday: A man who risked his life to save two swimmers caught in a rip-tide.


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