Talking with animals
March 14, 2008 | 3 comments
You've heard of the horse whisperer? Now they have the "dog whisperer" and even a "cat whisperer." Sure, it seems a little strange, people claiming the ability to talk to animals, but there must be a market for it. People take their pets to animal psychologists and pay big money for the "therapy." I guess there are a lot of people out there who would like to be able to communicate with animals. I know that I've thought about it a time or two. You might find it interesting to know that there is an animal out there that has developed the ability to communicate with us and even has her own website.
Her name is Koko; she is a western lowland gorilla. She currently has a working vocabulary of over 1,000 signs in GSL (Gorilla Sign Language) and can understand over 2,000 spoken words in English. It's not just her ability to understand spoken words that makes her truly remarkable; she can construct complex sentences and demonstrates an amazing understanding of complex concepts. Koko can talk to people! She has an IQ in the range of 75-90. That's only about ten points lower than the average human.
Koko received world-wide acclaim and notoriety when she made the cover of National Geographic Magazine in October of 1978. The cover shot is a photograph that Koko actually took of herself. Her fame continued when French filmmaker Barbet Schroeder made a movie about her called, "Koko: A Talking Gorilla."
Perhaps her greatest claim to fame was the second cover shot of National Geographic Magazine. This time Koko appeared holding her pet kitten. You heard that right; Koko the Gorilla had a pet of her own. The photograph of Koko and "All Ball" as the gorilla named her, took the world by surprise. Who would've thought that a large powerful gorilla could be so gentle with a tiny kitten?
A short time later, Koko's pet was tragically killed. The news was devastating to Koko. When she was told that All Ball had been killed she signed, "Bad…Frown…Sad." Later that day, when everyone had left, Koko wept. She mourned the loss of her little pet like many people would.
You may be wondering how the Yetihunter is going to tie this story into the subject of sasquatch research. Well, amazingly, I'm not! Good day.
The link to Koko's website: http://www.koko.org/index.php