Koko and Penny

Local Woodside resident Koko the Gorilla stared in her own show which recently aired on PBS. I was once walking with my wife, Margaret, past the Stanford art museum in about 1977 and there was a woman sitting on the steps with a small gorilla. Well Dr. Penny Patterson and her great friend, Koko, have come a long way since sharing a banana at Stanford. Koko is now the most cultured gorilla in the world. She has command of over 1,000 signs in American Sign language and is very responsive to the spoken word as well.

Koko is very much an ape, but she does many things that we humans do. She has a special computer she uses, she paints paintings and she loves kids toys and books. Koko also has a job. She is the focal element of the Gorilla Foundation’s ongoing behavioral and language study.


Koko is also computer dating. I’m not making this up . She is actually checking out mates at various zoos and institutes around the world as possible “significant others”. Ya gotta love the girl! Get the whole story at Gorilla.org.