Captive Gorillas

Free-Living Gorillas

In this section, we’ll learn about other gorillas—smart, sensitive and emotional beings just like Koko. And much like you and me. We’ll explore “Captive” gorillas in sanctuaries and zoos, and “Free-Living” gorillas in the African wilderness. Sadly, these African gorillas are critically endangered. They need your help.


We’ll also learn about a gorilla named Michael, who grew up with Koko in captivity, but was born “free-living” in the wild. Like Koko, he learned to sign with humans, and was also a gifted artist and storyteller.  Michael told Koko and the world the story of his remarkable life.

Stay tuned for an exciting, challenging journey. You’ll learn about this amazing species and how you can help gorillas everywhere. Koko helped the world to understand gorillas, and she asked us to be kind to them. Because kindness and understanding will save them.

And what better way to understand gorillas than to learn to communicate with them.  Kids4Koko will show you how!

Once you understand gorillas better, hopefully you’ll appreciate how endangered (or restricted, in captivity) they are, and want to help them.  Times are especially difficult for gorillas and other great apes when humans are dealing with contagious diseases — as gorillas are so much like us that they can catch these diseases. 

We must protect them.  Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because gorillas are the “gardeners of the forest” and spread the seeds that keep rainforests, wildlife and the planet (therefore us) healthy!