8. Something’s Missing
Koko is a very happy gorilla most of the time but there are things that can’t be replaced by sign language and celebrity friends. Among them is the desire to have a child of her own. When people enquire what she wants for her birthday she always says “a baby.”
7. All Ball Comes to Koko
Koko has a peculiar life for a great ape, one that straddles both the human and animal lifestyles. She enjoys playing with toys and dolls, but when she was 12, her caregivers decided to see how she’d react to a kitten and All Ball the kitten entered her life.
6. A Sad Loss
All Ball passed away just a few months later, as he was killed in a motor accident. Koko indicated that she was sad, crying, frowning and in trouble. She’s been given other kittens since, including “Smoky” and “Lips Lipstick”. Lips Lipstick stayed with Koko for nearly 20 years before she passed away.
5. Penny Picks the Birthday Treat
Penny has spent more than 40 years working with Koko when her original agreement had been to spend just 4 years with the gorilla. On July 4, 2015, Koko was due to celebrate her 44th birthday and Penny knew exactly what to get her to mark the occasion in a special way.
4. Kittens! Lots of Kittens
Koko wasn’t just given a single kitten but an entire litter of kittens. She’s a sweetheart with them, too. She spent time helping the kittens get used to the way she smells by gently offering her finger to be sniffed before she began to lift the kittens up to care for them.