Dr. Patterson examines Koko”s mouth, and vice versa.

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Photographer: Ron Cohn

Source: 071206_1dsm_VJ7A4844.jpg

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Interspecies relationships have a way of evolving, especially if there”s mutual respect. Clearly, mutual respect has been one of the cornerstones of Project Koko, and has enabled Dr. Penny Patterson to develop such a profound relationship with gorilla Koko during their 3-decade relationship that it”s often hard to tell who”s the teacher and who”s the student.

But if one thing has become self evident from all this research, it’s this: gorillas deserve our protection, and deserve a voice in the world. And thanks to “ambassador” Koko, they have at least one very articulate one advocating their “critically endangered” cause. Please add your voice to hers.