Meet Michael

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Videographer: Ron Cohn

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Koko has become a very special gorilla, an ambassador for her species. However, her late companion Michael was quite a guy too.

This is a brief introduction to the late silverback gorilla, Michael, who grew up with Koko, learned sign language with Koko, painted with Koko, loved Koko as a sister, and passed away in 2000 at the young age of 27. MIchael’s life continues to be an inspiration to us all, and we’ve even named a sanctuary after him: The Michael Sanctuary in Cameroon Africa (Mefou National Park) for bushmeat-orphaned gorillas. Note that Michael himself was a bushmeat orphan, which may explain his intense emotional and intellectual personality. Koko was a bit intimidated by him, which is why may be why she subsequently selected the somewhat more mellow Ndume to be her mate. However, Koko will always miss Michael, as will we.