Koko the gorilla makes her feelings on climate change known using sign language.
Koko the gorilla isn’t any ordinary primate. Born in the San Francisco Zoo in 1971, Koko was taught how to communicate American Sign Language at an early age. According to her trainers, she was able to learn vocabulary at the same rate as a child with learning disabilities and now knows around 1,100 signs.
Of course, Koko isn’t the first great ape to learn sign language, but she is definitely the most famous! After a video of her adopting a pair of kittens, using sign language to identify them as cats and state that they are her babies, went viral, she became somewhat of a sensation around the world.
Now, Koko is appearing on screen once again, but this time with an important message for humanity. As part of a campaign by French organization Noe Conservation, Koko was filmed delivering a message to protect the planet.
In the video (above), she appears to call mankind “stupid” for ignoring the responsibility to protect and care for the Earth, while also claiming that “Earth Koko love.”
According to The Gorilla Foundation, the video was created from footage of Koko reacting to being informed of what was at stake at COP21, the climate change talks in Paris. They allowed her to improvise, then edited the piece for brevity and continuity.
With her ability to truly grasp the concepts which she appears to “talk” about in the video is questionable, the campaign itself sends a powerful message.
Humans are not the only creatures on this planet, therefore, must take responsibility for their actions and live as stewards for the environment.