Koko the gorilla, who learned sign language, has died

One of the iconic gorillas of our lifetime has sadly passed away.

Koko, the gorilla who could “talk,” died in her sleep on Tuesday morning at the age of 46.

Talking Gorilla

Koko was the gorilla responsible for breaking through the communication barrier with humans.

The gorilla was completely fluent in American sign language.

In addition to her ability to sign, Koko helped researchers understand the emotional capability of these animals.

The Gorilla Foundation said of Koko after her passing: “Her impact has been profound and what she taught up about the emotional capacity of gorillas and their cognitive abilities will continue to shape the world.”

If anyone ever doubted gorillas have actual emotions and feelings, they need only watch the video discussing the death of Koko’s kitten, Ball:

Gaining Fame

In 1978, Koko came to fame through her National Geographic cover photo.

It was literally her cover photo, as the gorilla took the “selfie” aiming the camera into a mirror.

As years went by, everyone in the world continued to follow the “career” of Koko, and millions were amazed by her ability to communicate with humans.

One of the more popular videos of Koko came when Robin Williams paid her a visit.

Williams had a conversation with Koko through a sign language interpreter.

Koko immediately became comfortable with Williams.

The two played together for a bit, then one of the researchers handed a videotape cover to Koko with Williams on the front.

The gorilla pointed to the picture, meaning she knew it was Williams on the cover.

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The researcher then revealed they had just shown that movie to Koko the day before, and she no doubt recognized him from that movie.

Koko was truly a brilliant being. She will be missed by her many fans around the world.

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