Thanks to supporters like you, The Gorilla Foundation has been very productive this year, and we’re poised to bring about significant positive changes for gorillas, and kids, in 2024 – with your continuing support!
Here are some of the highlights of what we’ve accomplished across all 4 of our key programs this year, and yes, we still need your help, to bring them all to fruition, and maximize the full potential of Koko’s Legacy to achieve results for great apes!
Version 1.0 of the new “Koko Signs” app will be ready for release this month. A pre-release version was sent to all donors in late November, and the public-release version will be available very soon for free.
Everyone will be able to download and install the app from either Apple or Android stores by December 31, 2023. If you don’t already have a pre-release version of the app, we’ll send you an email when the app is available in both app stores.
Your support will help us continue to upgrade the KokoApp with new content and features that draw on our rich 5-decade research archive.
Thank you for helping us make this happen!
Our KokoKids (aka Kids4Koko) program was launched in 2021 as a feature on our website (Koko.org/kids4koko) where kids could begin to learn sign language with Koko’s help.
We’re currently working on partnerships with 2 groups in African gorilla habitat countries: 1) The Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre, who will be including Koko and sign language in their curriculum, via our new app, and 2) a Baku Project in Cameroon featuring a team of African scholarship students and facilitators who will review our app and then share it with community members in the gorilla forest region.
The feedback thus gained will be essential to making continuous improvements to the Koko Signs app, and increasing its effectiveness as a conservation tool.
We’re digitizing and archiving all of our assets – 5 decades of multimedia data documenting the only interspecies communication project in history conducted with gorillas.
From 2020-2023 we have been able to digitize about 90% of our interspecies communication video data, and catalog it in a custom relational database.
Next year (2024) we plan to: a) finish the digitization of video, b) continue the digitization of text and handwriting-based data, and c) further the analysis of all data in order to quantitatively summarize the communication skills of 3 gorillas (Koko, Michael and Ndume) and suggest next steps for continuing our dialogue with gorillas and other great apes.
KokoCares focuses on the care of gorillas in captivity. The goal is to provide a living environment for gorillas as close to their free-living counterparts as possible.
In our new sanctuary design, on 72 acres in west Maui, flexibility of space and autonomy are key components. Gorillas will be able to choose whether they want to be inside or outside, near other gorillas or alone and they will be free to roam. The gorillas will not be on public display to visitors, rather video monitoring will be available for viewing in our conference/classroom center, as well as via the internet for millions.
Support these Koko-powered programs, and help us make 2024 the greatest year yet for The Gorilla Foundation’s mission by enabling us to:
— Move forward with our sanctuary design plans and use to create partnerships with like-minded gorilla organizations around the world,
— Share our new Koko Signs app with existing partners in Africa whose feedback will help us optimize its use for gorilla conservation education,
— Inspire our children to care about gorillas, and to make a difference by communicating with kids around the world to become effective voices for Nature.
We’ll continue to update you on our progress regularly, so you can feel good about the positive impact we are making together, for both gorillas and children.
Dr. Penny Patterson
President and Director of Research The Gorilla Foundation / Koko.org
PS: Thanks to you (and soon, the KokoApp you helped us create) Koko’s legacy will continue to reach new groups of people every day, and empower new generations to appreciate the unique — and unparalleled — power of conservation through communication!
Conservation through Communication
The Gorilla Foundation PO Box 620530, Woodside, CA 94062
1-800-ME-GO-APE [email protected]
The Gorilla Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit
Federal Tax ID: 942.38.6151