Today would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday, had she lived just 2 weeks longer! I knew she wasn’t going to live forever, but I secretly wished she would. Betty has been a good friend to The Gorilla Foundation, to Koko, and to me, from the time we first met in the early 2000’s, and she’s been a heroic advocate for all animals as long as I can remember.
On this day of tribute, I’d like to just take a moment to share Betty’s visits with Koko (via this video) as they were such memorable days for everyone, and illustrate how easy it is to overcome interspecies barriers with love! Betty had wanted to meet Koko for years, and she didn’t keep it a secret when they finally met. Koko treasured every precious moment with Betty — you could tell they were both always very, very present, enjoying each other’s company, and conveying a mutual sense of curiosity and respect.
Thank you, Betty, for reminding us how important it is to be supportive of the needs of our fellow animal travelers on this planet, and for being a beacon of light showing the way forward!
Dr. Penny PattersonPresident, The Gorilla Foundation / Koko.org