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by Chad from Nebraska

Koko gives the sign for stink. (http://www.koko.org/world/signlanguage.html)

My hero is a gorilla named Koko. She was born on July 4th, 1971. This is not your ordinary gorilla; it is a thirty-five-year-old gorilla that knows sign language. Koko is my hero because if a gorilla can learn sign language, it gives hope to all people. Researchers say that Koko proves there are other smart animals. They think that it can save their environment.

Koko treats her kitten with care. (http://www.koko.org/friends/index.koko.html)

Koko’s smartness shows by wanting a kitten. For her thirty-fourth birthday, Koko asked for a pet kitten from caretaker Penny. Penny didn’t understand and gave her a stuffed animal kitten. Koko wanted a real one so she gave the symbol “red” or “angry.” Penny then found a kitten breeder who gave them a choice of three kittens. They picked one and Koko treats it with care just like she would if it was her own baby.

Ndume, Koko's mate. (http://www.sfondideldesktop.com/Images-Animals/Gorilla/Gorilla-Ndume.Jpg)

With the experience of owning a kitten, Koko wants to have a baby of her own. She signaled to Penny that she would teach this baby sign language. The father of her baby would be Ndume, Koko’s mate. Ndume is four hundred pounds and owns three children already. He is twenty-four years old and was born on October 10th. Penny believes they will be great parents.

Koko is an amazing gorilla. (http://www.koko.org/world/daily.php)

Koko is still alive today, taking care of her kitten and hoping for a baby soon. Koko knows over one thousand signs such as toothbrush, toilet, fake, and dirty. She uses these signs in everyday life. Koko is my hero in many ways and I hope she continues her life improving gorillas' lives all around the world.

Written by Chad from Nebraska
This story has been submitted by a guest user and does not necessarily represent the views of The My Hero Project or its staff.

Last changed on: 10/5/2006

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