We were so saddened to learn the news this month of the passing of Koko, the amazing gorilla with incredible sign language skills. Though Dr. Goodall only got the chance to meet Koko once, her interaction remains a remarkable one for Jane, and all that Koko taught us will live on. As Dr Jane said “Koko, you taught us much about the gorilla intellect, and you were much loved. You will be missed.”
Throughout our JGI researchers’ and Jane’s studies of chimpanzees, the insights of Koko’s life as a gorilla with tremendous communication skills were essential in understanding more about great apes, and she lived as a reminder of what Jane has always believed: that we are not so different from the rest of the animal kingdom. Read more about Dr. Jane’s thoughts on the passing of Koko in this JGI blog post.