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KokoPix Photo Blog (Archive)   Click on any of the following photos to enlarge:

Nov 17, 2013 Meet our New Managing Director of Research & Care

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We are pleased to introduce the Gorilla Foundation's new Managing Director of Gorilla Research and Care: Dr. Ken Gold. Ken is world-renowned for his understanding of gorilla behavior, and has years of experience with both gorilla research and care, as well as personnel management and facility design. He makes an excellent addition to the team, especially now in light of our new strategic focus on expanding the impact of Project Koko (and Michael) upon gorilla conservation, captive care management and interspecies empathy.

You'll be hearing much more about and from Dr. Gold in the months ahead, as he works closely with our Founding Directors, Drs. Penny Patterson and Ron Cohn, our entire staff, and with gorillas Koko and Ndume, to realize our top initiatives. For now, you can read Ken's bio here.
Oct 31, 2013 Koko's Scary Halloween Pumpkin

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Koko enjoys looking at scary or oddly decorated pumpkins during Halloween. This one looks like a cat, which may be why she's smiling. Today, Koko and Ndume are also enjoying lots of Halloween "treats" (she's not crazy about tricks), and putting up with caregiver costumes. Last week, she made her own Halloween mask out of a paper towel. Who would have thought holidays could be so interspecial.
Jun 17, 2013 Ndume Goes Solar

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On warm summer days, Ndume can often be found high up on a shelf in the yard nesting in blankets soaking up the sun.
Apr 30, 2013 Ndume Enjoying Nature

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Ndume sits atop his barrel watching squirrels play in the apple tree. Ndume has been Koko's companion since 1991. He is 10 years younger than Koko (31) and about 150 pounds heavier. Male silverback gorillas can grow to be over twice as heavy (and strong) as female gorillas. This may be one reason why natural gorilla family groups typically contain several females with a single silverback (and some youngsters), and why silverbacks can become stressed by strangers — they are responsible for the whole troop, which can extend to their human caregivers in captivity, if they have developed strong (interspecies) bonds.
Apr 19, 2013 Koko Enjoys the Spring

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Koko sits in her favorite corner of the yard basking in the sun.
Sep 28, 2012 Koko Enjoys new Ape and Alligator Dolls

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Koko enjoys playing, and acting, with various types of dolls, from human to ape to alligator. In this photo, she's kissing a life-like new orangutan doll, while a beautiful new plush alligator doll (given to her by Koko's long-time friend and supporter, Anne Bernstein) "looks" on.
Jul 28, 2012 Portrait of Ndume, Koko's good friend

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Closeup of Koko's best gorilla friend, Ndume. It was originally expected that Koko and Ndume would become mates, when she first selected him via a "video dating" process. However, while they get along well, they have not mated, possibly due to the absence of a natural gorilla group structure—multiple females associated with the silverback male. Koko has communicated to us that she would welcome a small female support group — which could lead to the birth of a gorilla baby (her dearest wish).
Jul 11, 2012 Ndume Enjoys a Healthy Treat

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Ndume enjoys his vegetable browse, prepared for him everyday by our wonderful volunteers. Caregivers always make sure the gorillas get the freshest and most nutritional greens.
Mar 27, 2012 Koko Looking Pensive

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Ron Cohn's photographic artistry shows Koko looking pensive. However, we can’t be sure what she’s thinking or feeling just by looking at her. We have to ask, or wait for her to tell us. This is one of the benefits of teaching basic sign language to captive gorillas — it creates an opportunity for “two-way” communication that both empowers and enriches their lives, as well as that of their caregivers.
Mar 4, 2012 Koko Cuddles with her “Virtual” Baby

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Koko cuddles with a very realistic gorilla doll. She tells us through play behavior like this, and directly, via sign language, that she wants to be a mother. This has become top priority for the Gorilla Foundation — not just for Koko, but for gorillas at large. It's incredibly important for there to be more than one great ape ambassador (i.e., spokesperson) to humanity in the world, and on a perpetual basis.

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