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Koko the Gorilla’s Important Message About Climate Change


6 January 2016 General News
 Danny Clemens | Discovery | 5 January 2016

Fresh on the heels of the Paris Climate Conference in December, beloved sign language-speaking gorilla Koko has a message for humankind: Protect the Earth.

In a clip making the rounds on social media, which was edited for brevity, Koko expresses her love of the natural world and urges humankind to take action before it's too late.

The now-viral video is part of a campaign from French organisation Noe Conservation imploring lawmakers to include provisions protecting the planet's biodiversity in the Paris agreement.

"Regularly, the leaders of all countries gather to find solutions for tackling the global warming issue. Unfortunately, they have not yet come to a decision that that will deliver concrete results," the campaign, NatureSeeYou, explains on its website.

"The situation is so urgent that this COP21 conference is our last chance to make real change before it is too late."

Western lowland gorilla Koko has dazzled humankind for decades. In 1972, caretaker Penny Patterson began teaching Koko a modified version of American Sign Language, colloquially referred to as Gorilla Sign Language (GSL), in what has come to be regarded as the longest-running interspecies communication experiment.

More than four decades later, 280-pound Koko can reportedly now recognise more than 1,000 words of GSL and an additional 2,000 words of spoken English.

http://www.discovery.com/dscovrd/wildlife/koko-the-gorillas-important-message-about-climate-change/

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