Koko the gorilla died age 46.
The western lowland gorilla was born in San Fransico zoo July 4 in 1971 and became famous for learning sign language. Since she was 9 years old she “said” that she wanted a baby, but was constantly denied the motherhood she so craved. Although she was a beautiful big gorilla she was still treated like a lab rat her whole life denied what she wanted.
Her first year in the zoo were not good and she soon got “taken care off” by a researcher, Dr Francine Patterson who wanted to try and teach her basic sign language.
She proved everybody that she was smart learning at least 1000 words in the American sign language (ASL) and understood more than 2000 words of verbal English.
She got a kitten that she named All Ball which sadly died later on. That was the only taste of motherhood she had. She was once introduced to a male gorilla named Michael in hope they would mate, but they just treated each others like siblings. So the scientists plan backfired and seems to be the only attempt made to find her a mate. She did like boys though and developed crushes on male scientists and wanted them to show her their chests. So why they never put any more efforts in finding her a mate I dont know, but do find it cruel and incredible selfish.
So yes, they can marvel about her talents, but what about HER? What about Koko the ape who had her needs and longings? Why keep her trapped and not integrate her with other gorillas?
What does it matter that she met with celebrities such as Robin Williams and Flea (from Red hot chili peppers)? She should have been with other gorillas not used as a toy and experiment for humans.
But as usual human needs goes before animals….