Koko

Bio

When Penny Patterson, a young graduate student in psychology at Stanford, first saw a tiny, undernourished baby gorilla named Hanabi-Ko at the San Francisco Zoo, she had little inkling that the sickly ape would become her constant companion - and the subject of the longest continuous experiment ever undertaken to teach language to another species. But within a year, Project Koko was underway, and in two weeks the gorilla was using correct signed gestures for food, drink, and more. Today, four decades later, Koko has a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words.

Meet Koko (video)

Profile

Full Name:

Hanabi-Ko  (aka Koko)

Translation:

"Fireworks Child" (Japanese)

Hair Color:

Black to Dark Brown

Eye Color:

Dark Brown

Height:

5'3/4"

Weight:

280 pounds

Birthdate:

July 4, 1971

Place of Birth:

San Francisco, CA

Vocabulary:

Uses over 1,000 signs (understands over 2,000 words of spoken English)

Favorite Color:

Red

Favorite Foods:

Nuts, gourmet tofu dishes, apples, corn-on-the-cob

Favorite Shows:

"Wild Kingdom"

Favorite Movie:

"Free Willy", "Maid in Manhattan," "Pretty Woman," "Doctor Doolittle" (Eddy Murphy)

Favorite Toy:

Rubber Alligators

Favorite Book:

"The Three Little Kittens"

Favorite Activities:

Playing with dolls, playing chase, drawing, writing, mothering

Original
Family Members:

Father: "Bwana"
Mother: "Jacqueline"
Brothers: "Sunshine" "Mkubwa"
plus nieces and nephews in zoos all over the U.S.


 

For more info, photos and videos about Koko, see:

KokoPix
KokoFlix
Project Koko

Contact Us

CLOSE

The Gorilla Foundation / Koko.org
1733 Woodside Rd., Suite 330
Redwood City, CA, 94061
1-800-ME-GO-APE (634-6273)

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Why become a member?

Our mission is to learn about gorillas by communicating with them, and apply our knowledge to advance great ape conservation, education, care and empathy.

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