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Robin Williams Gorilla Friend “Koko” Mourns His Death

As more and more stories are told about Robin Williams, this one struck me as especially poignant. In 2001, Robin Williams met and became friends with a gorilla named Koko, who uses American Sign Language to communicate.  The meeting happened at the Gorilla Foundation in California.  Scroll down to watch the video of their meeting and bonding.

Below is account of happened as the news of Robin Williams’ passing began to spread and made it to Koko, according to Koko.org:

On Monday, Aug. 11, the day news broke of Williams’ passing, Koko and Penny and Ron (Drs. Patterson and Cohn) were together when phone calls started coming in about the sad event.  After the first all, Koko came to Dr. Patterson with an inquiring look on her face.  Dr. Patterson explained that “we have lost a dear friend, Robin Williams.”  Koko was quiet and looked very thoughtful. (See photo)

More phone calls about the news came in, and Koko overheard one from a former colleague who had worked with Williams while he filmed a public service announcement for The Gorilla Foundation (based on his visit with Koko) in 2003.  The colleague’s voice broke at the end of the conversation.  About a half an hour later, Koko signed to Penny “CRY LIP” (LIP is Koko’s sign for woman). (See photo)

When Koko learned of Robin’s passing (on Aug. 11, 2014) she became very sad. We hope this video will lift her spirits and remind everyone of the profound gift of joy that Robin Williams brought to our world.

You can see the entire story with pictures and all at Koko.org.

(spelling, punctuation and links modified or added for story clarity)

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