Koko the gorilla has an on-line chat -- reluctantly
April 28, 1998
Koko the gorilla with her translator, Dr. Francine Patterson
Web posted at: 12:03 a.m. EDT (0403 GMT)
SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- As many as 20,000 people logged in to
chat with Koko the gorilla who answered questions in what was called the first ever "interspecies chat" on the Internet.
Dr. Francine Patterson, Koko's tutor and translator,
signed questions to the 26-year-old gorilla who has studied
American Sign Language for 25 years and is said to understand
some 2,000 words of spoken English and 1,000 signs.
When asked if she had a kitten or a dog, Koko signed dog.
When asked if she watched TV, Patterson said only the Public
Broadcasting Service. Koko answered, "Think."
Human chatters had questions ranging from the meaning of life
to her views of the new version of King Kong.
The 300-pound Koko seemed unimpressed by the event and ended
the online chat with the simple command, "Lights off. Good."