Born: 4 July 1971
Birthplace: San Francisco, California
Best known as: The gorilla who "talks" with humans
Koko is a domesticated lowland gorilla who has been taught to use human sign language. Beginning when Koko was one year old, psychologist Francine "Penny" Patterson taught the gorilla signs from American sign language; Patterson eventually credited Koko with learning a vocabulary of over 1000 signs. Koko is one of the best-known signing apes, along with chimpanzees Nim Chimpsky and Washoe.
Extra credit: Koko had a famous pet kitten which she named All Ball... According to Zoo.org, the average lifespan of a lowland gorilla is 30-35 years in the wild, 35-45 years in a zoo.
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