Koko gogo.

Koko the ball-grabbing gorilla has passed at the age of 46.

Oh sadness

Oh, I loved Koko. Too bad.

It’s odd that the linked news report continually referred to Koko as “it”. She was a female lowland gorilla.


And the photo caption is: “Gorilla Koko enjoys a pumpkin tossed into his habitat at the Detroit Zoo”

Koko never lived at the Detroit zoo. Not very good fact-checking.


Koko A Gogo would be a Disco, no?

Is it true that the last thing she signed was “Hold my beer”?

Oh no, Koko!


RIP sister; you done good.

Oh no. :frowning:

I have always wondered if she really was signing, or it was all being “interpreted” by Dr. Patterson. I suspect the latter, but really, I wish someone could have done the proper studies. If she was actually creating complex thoughts and communicating, that would be something!

Still, sad to see her passing. A great ambassador.

It’s a bit of both. Koko could sign. But most of her communication had to be heavily interpreted by Patterson.

It’s about like a 2 year old who can talk, sort of. They can scream no, ask for food items, say “mine” and so on. But then you have the parent who will try to explain to you exactly what Charlie is thinking and feeling and saying, based on a few grunts and squeals.

And to be fair, some of that could be legit. You as a parent know that Charlie wants his blankie when he screams and fidgets, not because the screams are words that mean “I want my blankie”, but because you observe he doesn’t have his blankie and he’s looking around and thrashing, and he probably wants his blankie.

George Costanza is inconsolable.

Anyone who wants to investigate the “communication skills” of Koko needs to check out the Clever Hans effect to start.

Has any other gorilla been taught sign language like Koko?

It’s “oo” as in “ooh ooh ah ah.”

Well, Koko, you had a good run. Hope you enjoy The Great Rain Forest in the Sky!

Apes’ abilities with sign language and symbols is extremely well documented, so no need to resort to Clever Hans explanations. Sure, there was a flurry of optimism in the early stages (back in the 70s), but cooler heads have prevailed. Apes seem to be able to understand and communicate the names of things and even actions, but they don’t seem to be able to use grammar to add meaning to that communication.

The Clever Hans effect relies on the trainer being unaware. Outright fraud does not.

Koko plays bass while Flea (of RHCP) looks on.

I’d think he’d be happy. So he could get back to being T-bone.