Primate emotions

Imagephoto by Nicki Mannix

Gorillas have always been one of my favorite animals, ever since seeing Koko on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood when I was little. To see a gorilla in the wild (on video, of course), is a beautiful thing. But to see videos of these magnificent animals showing compassion or sadness or love is absolutely awe inspiring. Because of what Dr. Penny Patterson has taught Koko, humans have a much better understanding of how gorillas think and feel…or even that they are capable of feelings. Some people need to understand that just because a being does not speak in the sense that humans do, does not mean that they are incapable of communication or feelings. Koko’s reaction to the movie that she is watching in the clip says a lot to me. She understood what was going on in the film. She empathized with the characters. That is something that not all humans can do. Koko is an ambassador for the Gorilla Foundation, but she could also be a teacher of empathy.

video from kokoflix on youTube


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