Koko gives Penny a flower
You Can Help Koko's Friend Ndume
Survive and Thrive!

Dear Friend,

When Koko passed away in June of 2018, we received an outpouring of condolence messages, and sincerely thank you for that.  Koko’s long-time companion, Ndume, grieved her loss along with us and the rest of the world.  He continues to show us that he misses her dearly to this day — as do we.

Now, Ndume must endure another life-altering situation -- leaving his sanctuary home of the past 27 years at The Gorilla Foundation for a court-ordered transfer to the Cincinnati Zoo.

Watch the Video and Get to Know Ndume


We and other experts on gorilla behavior and health do not believe that it is in the best interests of Ndume, now 37 (considered elderly for a gorilla), to return to a zoo. We did everything in our power to allow Ndume to stay at The Gorilla Foundation, but (based on an ownership agreement) we must now comply with the judge’s order to work cooperatively with the Zoo.

We are pleased that the Court agreed that it is important for us to share our expertise with the Zoo and work together to make his transfer as safe and stress-free as possible.

We urgently need your support to protect Ndume from
the potential hazards of moving him from sanctuary to zoo

Transferring Ndume safely is going to require a great deal of dedicated effort because we are entering uncharted territory.  Ndume would be the first gorilla ever to be transferred from a long-term (3-decade) sanctuary environment to a zoo.

Your donation will help Ndume deal with:

Being crate-trained and transported in it at his advanced age
30 to 45 days of isolation in quarantine (without outdoor  access)
Adapting to public visitors (which had has not tolerated well)
Interacting with new gorillas as an elderly introverted male
Being The stress of giving up everything he has known and loved for the past 27 years.

You can help increase the probability of success for Ndume to both survive and thrive!

Ndume has lived with us at The Gorilla Foundation for most of his life. He came to us at the age of 10, following time spent in zoos where he did not fare well on public display (with a strong arm, good aim and a habit of throwing unmentionables!).

When he arrived at TGF, it seemed he had never walked on grass or seen the moon. Koko and everyone else fell in love with him, and in our care he settled down and thrived in our peaceful sanctuary surroundings with Koko as his companion.

With the prospect of this stressful, risky and unprecedented transition, we are very concerned about the outcome!

By supporting the Gorilla Foundation today, you will be helping us protect and support Ndume in every way we can, including traveling with him and staying with him in Cincinnati, to monitor his wellbeing throughout the process – which could take months to complete safely.

Your support will also help the Gorilla Foundation continue our core mission ...

We are developing new conservation education technology, such as the new Koko App (in which Koko teaches us to sign) and an illustrated children's book,  A Wish for Koko, which is both a tribute to Koko's life and a path to the future of human-gorilla relations.

Koko and Kid Koko and Ndume's Continuing Legacy

With your support, we can help Ndume survive a transfer to the Cincinnati Zoo and make both an immediate and a lasting impact for all of the world’s gorillas.


With much love and appreciation,


           Penny signature

Penny Patterson, Ph.D.
President, CEO and Director of Research & Care
The Gorilla Foundation / Koko.org

PS: Like us, gorillas have unique personalities, emotions and thoughts. Ndume needs our special attention now, and we need yours.  Let's make Koko proud.  Thank you!

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The Gorilla Foundation   |   PO Box 620530   |   Woodside, CA  94062   |   800-ME-GO-APE 
The Gorilla Foundation is a 501(c) Nonprofit Organization with Federal Tax ID: 942.38.151

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