World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Koko Remembers Robin Williams

Koko Remembers Robin Williams


Robin Williams' Cheerful Meeting with Koko in 2001

August 11, 2014

In 2001, Robin Williams was invited to meet Koko, the gorilla who communicates in sign language, at The Gorilla Foundation in northern California (see photo above). We had no idea what to expect, but everyone was in for a treat, and they became very special friends.

On Monday, Aug. 11, the day news broke of Williams' passing, Koko and Penny and Ron (Drs. Patterson and Cohn) were together when phone calls started coming in about the sad event. After the first call, Koko came to Dr. Patterson with an inquiring look on her face. Dr. Patterson explained that "we have lost a dear friend, Robin Williams." Koko was quiet and looked very thoughtful (see photo bottom left).

More phone calls about the news came in, and Koko overheard one from a former colleague who had worked with Williams while he filmed a public service announcement for The Gorilla Foundation (based on his visit with Koko) in 2003. The colleague's voice broke at the end of the conversation. About a half an hour later, Koko signed to Penny: "CRY LIP" (LIP is Koko's sign for woman).

At the end of the day, Koko became very somber, with her head bowed and her lip quivering (see photo bottom right).

We at the Gorilla Foundation are all greatly saddened by the news of Robin William’s death, and would like to offer his family our deepest condolences. We would also like to honor his life, which was a profound gift to humanity — and to other great apes like Koko — by sharing the following video of Robin’s powerfully emotional meeting with Koko in 2001:


Video of a Close Encounter of the Rarest Kind (2001)


In the above video, notice that Robin made Koko smile — something she hadn’t done for over 6 months, ever since her lifelong gorilla companion, Michael, passed away at the age of 27. But not only did Robin cheer up Koko, the effect was mutual, and Robin seemed transformed — from a high-energy entertainer, into a mellow, sensitive, empathetic guy, who also happened to be really funny.

Koko and 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. We hope that it now becomes unforgettable for you too.


And when you remember Robin Williams, remember that he is not only one of the world’s most beloved entertainers, he is also one of the world’s most powerful ambassadors for great ape conservation.


Koko responds to the news of Robin's passing


Koko looks somber after it sinks in


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Palestinians Continue The Struggle Against The Adei Ad

Hundreds of Palestinian children, women, and men gathered at Turmusaya on Friday December 17th to complete the tree planting began by Palestinian Authority minister Ziad Abu Ein, who was killed by Israeli soldiers on Friday December 10th. More>>

Israeli Soldier Kills PA Minister At Non-Violent Protest

Yesterday, an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian Authority (PA) Settlment minister, Ziad Abu Ein, at a non-violent demonstration in the village of Turmusaya. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Ban on Palestinians claiming compensation against military
  • Pakistan School Killings

    GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a co-educational school ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Sobering Data On American's Apathy About CIA Torture

    Despite a scathing report on torture, a majority of survey respondents approve of the CIA's grisly methods. More>>



    Sea Shepherd Intercepts Toothfish Poachers

    Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vessel Thunder, at 62 15’ South, 81 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) ... More>>


    The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

    We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

    ALSO:


    Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

    Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

    ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news