Koko Gorilla is one of the most documented species. She was separated from her fellow gorillas because she got ill and later on raised by a Ph.D. student who took Koko with her. However she realized that Koko can talk and communicate with humans. Realizing that Koko could learn communication skills was a revolutionary idea and she wanted to work on Koko. So that she started to teach her how to communicate via American Sign Language. However to develop a relationship between humans and animals, it is important to create an understandable relationship.
Koko was trained; she learned over 1000 working words and was able to understand over 2000 words of spoken English. Along with 1000 words of vocabulary, she also created her own language which was understandable by humans. Koko was taught by applying different methodologies. All these methodologies are all ethical except keeping Koko separate from other mates. Separating species from its natural habitat is not supportive because Koko was unable to adjust with Michael and develop a relationship with him. Koko expressed her feelings for having a baby but she was not able to bear an offspring. Koko should have kept with other gorillas in zoo but her training for communication skills helped understand the language to interact with animals. Koko learned a language through which she could interact and express her feelings. She learned to paint and recognize people and other mates and her upbringing was beneficial for communication, and interaction purposes. Gorillas can better adjust in their own environments although she was in a safe environment but living in a natural habitat is different. She was not able to make relations with other gorillas. It was difficult for her in the beginning but she gradually learned to live with other mates and species. Since she was living with cats and was happy, but after losing them she was broken and expressed grief. This implies that gorillas can feel emotions. The only difference between gorillas and humans is their physical appearance, and the common thing is that they can communicate and understand things. As Koko expressed her feelings towards having babies, she should have been living in a zoo with other gorillas. An example from the documentary is that she was left with two male mates but was not able to form an intimate relationship, rather she developed a relationship based on love and friendship. However, if she was kept in a zoo, she could have given birth but the situations of wildlife were not supportive back then. Michael, a friend of Koko, his mother and other family members were killed in Africa which he expressed through his paintings and communication signs. Nowadays wildlife protection is made sure and policies have been made because some of the species were getting extinct. To preserve their organism, new wildlife preservation policies have been introduced.
Hence Koko’s contribution in learning communication skills with humans and animals is commendable for the future studies and researches as Koko created her own vocabulary and learned. These are important for the evolutionary studies of human beings and to develop an interactive environment with animals like gorillas. While Koko’s study is an asset because of the communication skills which Koko had created can be learned by other gorillas like Michael. So this study has developed an environment for generations to understand human, and animal behaviors and communication skills. Since this documentary is a contribution to research communities and the public because this has created an awareness about creation of relationships between humans and animals.
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