Koko Asks for a Sandwich
Koko often asked for things spontaneously, and we accommodated her requests when both possible and prudent. In this video Koko and Penny are inside Koko’s rooms. Koko lived in the same home nearly all of her life, which was connected to a covered play yard and a very large outdoor space. Koko hands Penny a little mirror she has been looking into, then reminds Penny it will soon be time for her sandwich. The sandwich was a daily favorite of Koko’s and usually consisted of nut butter on a corn tortilla. Penny tells Koko that she can have her sandwich at 2:00 pm, and Koko confirms the 2:00 pm time with two knocks. Koko really enjoyed being given a say about how she spent her day, whether to follow a standard routine or deviate from it, just for fun. All gorillas in captive settings deserve this level of autonomy and caregiver communication.