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Young Koko Explores the San Francisco Zoo

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Photographer: Ron Cohn

Videographer: Ron Cohn

Source: KokoArc video 775

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YOUNG KOKO EXPLORES THE SF ZOO (Video: 1973)

Penny would take Koko to explore the San Francisco Zoo in the mornings before the property opened to the public.

Koko visited the other animals housed there and interacted with them, especially the llamas. She enjoyed rattling their fence and watching them react by moving away. She was curious with a mischievous streak.

When back in the nursery, Koko herself was on display. Here you see her distracted by a crowd of onlookers while her male caregiver was attempting to teach her the sign for ‘open’ using molding and modeling techniques.

Koko evidently did not like being on display, a common opinion among gorillas.


This video is another excerpt from our KokoArc multimedia interspecies communication archive, based on 5 decades of research known as Project Koko. The results of this archive are intended to be applied to improve great ape conservation and captive care, as well as to educate current and future generations about the true nature of gorillas and other great apes and create more harmonious relationships with them.

To receive these videos in your email inbox, with more detailed analyses, subscribe to KokoMail (free). And to help us continue this important work to maximize the benefits of Koko’s legacy, you can also donate to The Gorilla Foundation, here.

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