Young Mike Learns How to Sign “Drink”

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Photographer: Ron Cohn

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In this video from 1977, Penny sits with Koko and Mike with a drink in each hand. Koko signs “Drink” right away and Penny hands it to her. Mike tries a number of times and eventually gets it right – signing “drink mouth”. Penny holds the cup for him as he drinks his milk.

Playing and learning together are important parts of socialization and development for gorillas, and helps them establish and maintain social bonds within their group.