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Koko ‘Close To Tears’ At News Of Robin Williams’ Death

From the UK’s Daily Mail:

Sign language gorilla Koko ‘close to tears’ after Robin Williams’ death

By J Gardner | 13 August 2014

News of Robin Williams’ untimely death hit particularly close to home for famed sign language gorilla Koko, who handlers say was moved nearly to tears by the somber mood shared by all at her Northern California home.

Staff at the Gorilla Foundation were, like much of America, in mourning after hearing the news Monday. Williams visited their center in 2001 and quickly befriended Koko, making her laugh for the first time in six months.

So when they explained to Koko, who is fluent in American Sign Language, that a dear friend of the center had died, she soon became sad and is pictured sitting hunched over with a quivering lip.

Koko even signed the words ‘cry lip’ — lip being her word for woman — as she watched staff reacting to the news. ‘She became extremely sad,’ Koko’s caretaker Dr. Penny Patterson wrote on Koko.org.

Footage from the day Koko and Williams met is as uplifting as his suicide is tragic. The actor arrived there as a stranger to the gorilla with a personal interest in ape conservation. He left as Koko’s friend. They truly appeared to bond as the gorilla insisted on Williams tickling her and tried on his eyeglasses much to his delight…

Koko’s smiles, which were all caught on camera, were the first in months since her good friend — a 27-year-old gorilla named Michael — had passed away. ‘Robin’s ability to just "hang out" with Koko, a gorilla, and in minutes become one of her closest friends, was extraordinary and unforgettable,’ Dr. Patterson wrote.

Now the story has come full circle and Koko has lost another friend, though she’ll forever have the memories of the time the funnyman lifted her up in dark times. ‘Not only did Robin cheer up Koko,’ said Patterson, ‘the effect was mutual, and Robin seemed transformed.’

Let’s hope Koko doesn’t get any ideas. Since it’s clear she already has a tendency towards melancholy.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 14th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Koko ‘Close To Tears’ At News Of Robin Williams’ Death”

  1. Reality Bytes says:

    I’m calling it! MSM just pulled into crazy town with Robin’s suicide.

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