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You are here News Science Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

Koko dead at 46. Gorilla knew sign languageKoko the gorilla who mastered sign language, raised kittens and once playfully tried on the glasses of the late actor Robin Williams, has died. She was 46.

The Gorilla Foundation says the western lowland gorilla died in her sleep at the foundation's preserve in California's Santa Cruz mountains on Tuesday.

Koko's capacity for language and empathy opened the minds and hearts of millions of people, the foundation said. She appeared in many documentaries and twice in National Geographic. The gorilla's 1978 cover featured a photo that the animal had taken of herself in a mirror.

Williams, another San Francisco Bay area legend, met Koko in 2001 and called it a "mind-altering experience." The two hold hands and tickle each other in a widely sharedvideo.

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