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A Conversation With Koko The Gorilla

Taught Sign Language In The 1970's

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A Most Fascinating Relationship Between Human And Animal

Shattering previously held conceptions of stereotypes of primates, this story is about a connection between a woman and a gorilla who found a common language.

Koko is a female gorilla that learned to use American sign language. She was taught in the 1970's by researcher Penny Patterson.

She learned to communicate more than basic words for basic needs, and has found ways to use language to show her affection, sense of humor, playfulness, love: a whole range of emotions challenging us to acknowledge that we have underestimated the depth of feelings and intelligence of animals.

Share this video far and wide, because if we can understand that this one animal shares so much with us humans, then we can begin to turn around our civilization's legacy of limited beliefs and disrespect toward animals, and go toward a humane and enlightened way to share this planet with them.

--Bibi Farber

This video, narrated by Martin Sheen, was produced by Bonnie Brennan and Robert Visty