Koko knew rock stars.
And movie stars.
She treated them no differently than she did her brood of kittens and cats — with love and respect.
She had a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words in sign language.
She was an artist, author and magazine cover girl.
She was also an ambassador to the planet, asking us to protect it.
Born at the San Francisco Zoo on July 4, 1971, Koko lived her life around people.
The western lowland gorilla was named Hanabi-ko, which is Japanese for “Fireworks Child.”
Koko won hearts around the world. But she also made us think.
The Gorilla Foundation announced her passing early Thursday morning. She died in her sleep.
“Koko touched the lives of millions as an ambassador for all gorillas and an icon for interspecies communication and empathy. She was beloved and will be deeply missed,” the foundation said in a statement.
Koko was 46.
She was Earth’s true rock star.
The tributes are already pouring in.
Koko the gorilla has sadly died aged 46
Here’s the story of her life 🦍💚 pic.twitter.com/GFzfSvydcp
— BBC Earth (@BBCEarth) June 21, 2018
Koko, who was 46, died in her sleep this week, the Gorilla Foundation said.
At birth, she was named Hanabiko — Japanese for “fireworks child,” because she was born on the Fourth of July in 1971.
She was a western lowland gorilla. https://t.co/GOFJjoQTLX
— NPR (@NPR) June 21, 2018
Koko the gorilla, who appeared on our cover, could chat, tease, and even argue with scientists using sign language. She has died at the age of 46. pic.twitter.com/JX9vlFzpiI
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) June 21, 2018
“The foundation will continue to honor Koko’s legacy and advance our mission with ongoing projects including conservation efforts in Africa, the great ape sanctuary on Maui, and a sign language application featuring Koko for the benefit of both gorillas and children,” the Gorilla Foundation said in a statement.