The Extraordinary Gorilla passes away
Koko, the gorilla who became an ambassador to the human world through her ability to communicate, has died .She's seen here at age 4, telling psychologist Francine "Penny" Patterson (left) that she is hungry. In the center is June Monroe, an interpreter for the deaf at St. Luke's Church, who helped teach Koko.
"The Gorilla Foundation is sad to announce the passing of our beloved Koko," the research center says, informing the world about the death of a gorilla who fascinated and elated millions of people with her facility for language.
Koko, who was 46, died in her sleep Tuesday morning, the Gorilla Foundation said. At birth, she was named Hanabi-ko — Japanese for "fireworks child," because she was born at the San Francisco Zoo on the Fourth of July in 1971. She was a western lowland gorilla.