Research/Care Blog

Blog Archive

A Day In The Life

Have you ever wondered how Koko spends her days? In many ways Koko's daily life is extraordinary. As the heart of a decades-long exploration into Great Ape communication, she has grown up on camera and in the company of researchers, her conversations and actions recorded and analyzed. Her days are Read more

Parker Meets Koko

Recently, Koko made a new friend Gorilla Foundation staff members are experts in the care of great apes, but The Foundation also relies on the hard work and support of volunteers passionate about preserving a future for gorillas. Thirteen-year-old Parker Daley, a ballet dancer and student at the Stanford Online Read more

Koko Inspires Children

Throughout Project Koko, which began in 1972, it has become clear that Koko’s story captivates children all over the world. When children see that Koko is so much like them, it creates empathy for Gorillas and has the potential to inspire the next generation to step into action and actually help protect Read more

Gorilla-Guided Care

At the Gorilla Foundation, the gorillas guide their own care. Koko and Ndume communicate with our caregiving team through a combination of American Sign Language and other modes of communication, which enables us to fully utilize 2-way communication to optimize their care and enrichment. Gorillas are emotionally and Read more

Burbank Students Respond to Koko

Blog by Lisa Holliday, Executive Assistant to Dr. Penny Patterson (and Koko) On Friday September 12th, 2014 I was in Burbank, California, to introduce Koko — and Ndume — as ambassadors for their species, to a couple of elementary schools there, via a multimedia presentation and my personal experiences Read more

Western Lowland Gorilla SSP Mtg

In June I was in Atlanta, Georgia to attend some meetings of the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) program, as well as the 2014 International Gorilla Workshop (IGW) hosted by Zoo Atlanta. In between the meetings I was able to squeeze in a visit (with other IGW attendees) to the Dewar Wildlife Read more

Koko's Birthday — a child's view

Being five years old, this was my first Birthday with Koko in person, but I have seen videos of Koko since I can ever remember. My mom, Jamie, grew up learning about Koko from my grandmother and watching her on Mister Rogers. And she has raised me also learning about this amazing “gorilla person”, Read more

Koko's Birthday — Amy's View

Koko’s Birthday is one of the biggest holidays we celebrate here at the Gorilla Foundation, I have learned. When I started work at the Foundation in early May (2014) the preparations for this year’s birthday bash had already begun. The theme (“flowers and sustainability”) had been picked by Read more

Ndume's View of K's Bday (Andrea)

For Koko's 43rd birthday this year, I decided the theme should revolve around Koko's favorite treat, flowers. Using colored paper and plastic bottles, wreaths of flowers were hung from twine around Koko's porch. Paper oragami swans were hung as well. Of course, Ndume shared in the celebration. Decorations Read more

Koko's Birthday — Sasha's View

As a new caregiver here at the Gorilla Foundation, I was excited to get to celebrate my first holiday with the gorillas: Koko’s 43rd birthday on July 4th! Birthdays are a big deal here, a time to celebrate the lives of our “fine gorilla people” (as Koko would say) and to get to spoil our gorillas a Read more

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