Empathy
Koko Models Forgiveness
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Koko is a forgiving gorilla. In this clip, Koko forgives Penny (her mentor and lifelong caregiver) for forgetting to give Koko her apple drink. Koko signs "PENNY KISS" (kissing the same finger that she uses to sign PENNY) which also shows how Koko can be creative with iconic gestures, and express the same message in many different ways (eg, she could have simply signed "KOKO-LOVE" or "SORRY," which she often does).

Gorillas Koko, Michael and Ndume have all displayed this level of empathy (and much more) with humans, and often behave better (more "humanely") than we do in similar circumstances. The most egregious example of this is the rate at which gorillas are being wiped off the planet by bushmeat pooaching and habitat destruction in Africa.

Will we ever be able to forgive ourselves if we allow gorillas (and other great apes) to vanish from free-living existence at our own hands? What hope would there be for other species if we allow our most closely related species to become extinct in this way (great apes are critically endangered)?

Join us in raising awareness about the true nature of gorillas and other great apes, by conveying Koko's message of intelligent love worldwide. We can only expand our research, education and conservation impact to the level needed with your help.

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