Koko the gorilla celebrated her 44th birthday this year by becoming the adopted mother of two kittens, according to Daily Mail. In a video post shared recently on Koko and the Gorilla Foundation’s Official Facebook page, the lovable gorilla is seen digging into a box full of kittens and immediately becoming attached to two in the litter.
Watch it here.
Koko’s actual birthday was July 4. The western lowland gorilla, who was born at the San Francisco zoo in 1971, became an endearing representation of the communication capabilities primates have when her trainer Francine “Penny” Patterson revealed Koko’s ability to utilize sign language. It was Patterson who introduced Koko to this special pair of kittens for her birthday.
Koko’s communication abilities made her an instant celebrity as the world became fascinated with her personality and heavily interested in Patterson’s research studies. In 2001, the gorilla had an infamous meeting with comedy and acting legend Robin Williams. Williams, who, according to the Today show, was an ambassador for Great Ape conservation, called the experience of meeting Koko “mind altering.”