Koko the Gorilla Held the World’s First “Interspecies” Web Chat in 1998

in Facts

Koko the gorilla knows over 1000 sign language signs and understands about 2000 spoken English words. She participated in an AOL web chat event in 1998.

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The female gorilla was born in 1971 and resides in Woodside, California. She and her trainer Francine Patterson appeared in the "first ever interspecies chat" on April 28, 1998. The AOL chat was attended by thousands of curious subscribers who were allowed to ask questions. Patterson asked Koko the questions, and the gorilla answered back in sign language.

The strange chat included somewhat vague responses by the gorilla, such as the following question and answer:

AOL: Is she about finished, do you think?

PENNY: Are you finished?

KOKO: Fine have food lips lipstick hurry.

PENNY: That's like 'Ok. I'm ready for dinner!' But that's what she said. Are you finished? 'Fine have food lips.'

See the full transcript below.








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