Humans aren’t the only ones that can tell a lie.


Do you think only humans can tell a lie? Think again.

Koko, like most gorillas, is very intelligent. She is world-renown for her ability to communicate through sign language with a vocabulary of over 1000 words. Once Koko learned to communicate, she asked her trainers for a kitten as a present.

One day at the Gorilla Foundation, when no humans were present, Koko ripped a sink out of the wall of her habitat. When her people returned, Koko explained what happened by signing the phrase “cat did it” and pointing at her tiny kitten.

The kitten who took the fall for that mess is no longer with Koko, but she has since made new feline friends. Check out this adorable video of Koko getting a new kitty friend.

2 thoughts on “Humans aren’t the only ones that can tell a lie.

  1. Melynda Hancock

    There are people who actually believe that Koko doesn’t really “speak” but that it simply is the trainer cherry picking “words” she signs and tells others what Koko is (or is not) saying. As someone who knows ASL, I know for a fact that this animal can relate objects to signs at the very least, which is also a debate for some. Nonetheless, there is no doubt. It is true some of the signs are not actual ASL, but they Are the same sign each time for the same thing or feeling or idea. The sign was changed most likely to make it simpler to gesture. The gorilla, in her mid 40’s now I believe, knows about 1,000 signs. I have seen people claim in a flat-out, matter-of-fact manner that she knows NO language and that it’s ALL the trainer’s hopeful thoughts and lies. This is simply not the case, but if it were, 1,000+ words are seriously hard to fake…..again and again for this gorilla’s whole life. I have seen Koko ask to play on a swing, say what she wants for her meals, tell someone it is raining outside and ask for specific games she feels like playing. I have seen her “talk” and in my reality I cannot fathom what challenges someone so strongly that they would deny something they can see with their own eyes. Maybe it’s a religious thing; possibly if she communicates as well as a 3-year-old this might mean to some that she has a soul, which defies Christianity or other religions. I think it’s a shame that anyone would deny scientific proof and the truth out of fear of having to share the afterlife with a few other species. Koko named her first kitten Ball. If you asked a toddler with limited communication skills or understanding of names and how to choose one to give a name to a fluffy kitten, you’re most likely to hear something like a color (Blacky, Yellow-baby kitty) or something along the lines of fluffy, ball of fuzz or the like. The fact that Koko named her baby kitty Ball makes total sense to me. She doesn’t understand that names are any different than any other object called by whatever it happens to be callled. All we know is that in her limited understanding, she saw her surprise gift and upon being asked to name it, she thought of a little ball. Now that I’m thinking back, I believe that for a future birthday she received 2 kittens (after Ball was hit by a car) and 1 she named Gray. Her trainer called the kitten Ms. Gray. I don’t know what she named the other cat, but what I said previously stands. She’s like a kid. She named it what a kid would name it, but nonetheless, SHE named her pets. I think it’s a shame people are calling her trainer’s lifelong work a heap of lies or just wishful thinking. Koko is proof of what Gorillas are capable. Of course, watching her live a large portion of her life in a cage, weather it looks like a house or not, and watching her long for a mate and ask for a baby gorilla and never become a mother is ALSO PROOF that no matter her intelect, she DOES NOT belong to this human “world”. She is often depressed. As the owner of dogs and upon rescuing hundreds of animals I know for a fact dogs can be depressed, elated, angry, embarrassed, ashamed and a wide array of other emotions. If a lowley dog can feel this and show it in actions and expressions, for sure a gorilla can turn those expressions into words in the form of simplified signs. I have seen her not just “speak” but point out things she feels, wants or wishes to relay from a picture book with over a hundred photos in it by pointing. If you study her and get to know her you will see that she really can communicate. She may not use 100% ASL, but she uses a single language created for her which often includes photos. She is like a small child and her abstract thought is nowhere near that of an average adult, but that does not mean she cannot speak/communicate.


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