The Gorilla Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, protection and well-being of gorillas and other great apes through interspecies communication research and education. Established in 1976 as a 501(c)(3) corporation, it is best known for "Project Koko,"  the longest interspecies communication study in history, and the only one involving gorillas.  It  has evolved into an institution that provides a unique resource for great ape conservation, care and understanding.

Mission & Strategy

Learn about the Gorilla Foundation's mission of conservation through communication with gorillas like Koko, and our strategy of combining research, education and optimal  care into a recipe for conservation.  More

History & Milestones

Spanning more than 4 decades (the longest interspecies communication project in history)  Project Koko has accomplished many milestones; yet there is still much critically important work to do.  More


Project Koko supports Education, Conservation and Care with benefits for all great apes. For example, our Education program reaches students worldwide, inspiring them to be responsible stewards of nature.  More


The Gorilla Foundation team consists of the 2 founders, Drs. Penny Patterson and Ron Cohn, a small group of world-class gorilla caregivers, communication and education specialists, and a hard-working Board of Directors.  


Meet gorillas Koko and Ndume, as well as the late Michael, who grew up with Koko and also learned sign language.  The gorillas can be considered an extended part of our great ape Team.  More


The Gorilla Foundation's financial support comes primarily from its membership base of  over 40,000 donors and a few private foundations.  We are now seeking major partners to advance our mission.. More

Contact Us



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

User login

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.

facebook twitter instagram youtube 

Website design by 1185 Design and powered by TrevNet Media