Koko the Gorilla passed away this week at the age of 46. Koko, named Hanabi-ko, is a celebrity gorilla famed for learning to communicate with humans using sign language. She has been considered an ambassador for gorillas within the human world.
Despite Koko’s fame, there are some who believe she was not able to learn language the same way that humans do. It is believed that Koko was parroting signs to get a desired result, rather than communicating.
Koko appeared on television numerous times and shared moments with celebrities such as Robin Williams, Betty White, and Mister Rogers. When Williams died in 2014, Koko appeared to mourn his passing.