Monday, August 18, 2014


We at the Gorilla Foundation mourn the loss of our friend Robin Williams, whose kindness, humor and commitment to Great Ape conservation touched all of us here, including Koko.

When Robin Williams and Koko met in 2001, the two shared some great moments together. One of the extraordinary things about that day was that Robin was able to make Koko laugh, something she hadn't done for more than six months — after the passing of her lifelong gorilla companion, Michael, who learned sign language with her.

Today, in honor of Robin's life, which was a profound gift to humanity — as well as to other great apes like Koko — we would like to share this video of their powerfully emotional meeting:
Close Encounter of the Rarest Kind: Robin Williams and Koko
Robin's encounter is a supreme example of how humans and gorillas can overcome interspecies boundaries and express the highest form of empathy - embracing differences. Robin's ability to just hang out with Koko, a gorilla, and in minutes become one of her closest friends, was extraordinary and unforgettable for Koko. And Robin Williams was so touched by his meeting with Koko that he later created a public service announcement to help Koko and her species.
Koko remembers
When Koko heard the news of Robin Williams' passing she became very sad
We hope that when you remember Robin Williams, you'll remember that he is not only one of the world's most beloved entertainers but also one of the world's most powerful ambassadors for great ape conservation. We miss him!



Dr. Penny Patterson
President, Director of Research

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