Koko The Gorilla, The Ape Who Speaks Sign Language
Koko the gorilla has been speaking modified American Sign Language for more than 40 years. In 1972, animal psychologist Francine Patterson set out to determine if humans and gorillas could ever communicate. Her idea began as a PhD project, but teaching Koko sign language eventually turned into a lifelong hobby and caregiving relationship. In the early stages of teaching, Koko learned one new sign every month. Soon enough, Koko was combining signs to ask for things, pairing up signs for "more" and "eat," for example. Over the course of 43 years, Koko has picked up more than 1,000 words of modified American Sign Language, which is a vocabulary comparable to that of a 3-year-old child. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.