For years, people have linked humans and gorillas together as like-minded species. And while it’s been battled over for decades, it still tends to be a topic of conversation. While the battle will probably go on for decades longer, one thing is for sure, gorillas are highly intelligent animals.
Meet Koko! Koko is a female western lowland gorilla who has been the participant in a research study focusing on human-animal communication. For over 40 years, Koko has been in the care of psychologist Francine "Penny" Patterson.
Penny hypothesis was simple; she thought that she would be able to teach Koko sign language and Koko would sign her needs/ desires to Penny. The two would understand each other like never before…
At first, the lessons were simple; Koko would learn “eat,” “drink,” and “more.” Surprisingly enough, her words quickly turned into full thoughts. Only a couple years later, Koko was signing full sentences expressing her thoughts, desires, and concerns.
Over the decades, Koko vocabulary shocked the world. No one had every expected gorilla and a human to be able to communicate so well. It’s been said that she knows over 1,000 words- WOW! While it was an incredibly controversial topic, Koko’s supernatural abilities to communicate in sign language are truly fascinating!
What are your thoughts on Koko’s life being dedicated to this monumental research? Check out the full video below!