Koko, the sign language using western lowland gorilla, passed away in her sleep two weeks before her 48th birthday. Her full name, Hanabi-ko, means "fireworks child" in Japanese, because she was born on July 4th, 1970. She was very fond of Manx kittens as pets, because they were tailless, as she was. Once, when one of her kittens was killed accidentally by a car, I think it was the one she named All Ball, Dr. Penny Patterson asked Koko what happens when gorillas die. Koko answered, "Comfortable hole, bye." Koko had a companion gorilla named Michael, who died several years ago from a heart disorder which is common in male lowland gorillas. Dr. Patterson hoped that Koko and Michael would mate, but they were more like siblings.
Rest in peace in your comfortable hole, Koko. Bye.
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