Koko the Gorilla is a very special primate. She has been taught human communication via an adapted form of American Sign Language. Born on July 4, 1971 to the San Francisco Zoo, her life took an unexpected turn when she was moved to a facility in Woodside California, since then, she has worked closely with her handler Francine “Penny” Patterson, who has established a long term friendship with the animal, teaching her some 1,000 signs. Although Koko is not the first great ape to be taught to communicate in this way, she is definitely the most famous!

This video follows Koko as she expresses her thoughts about climate change and some of the other manmade threats facing her fellow animal species in support of the U.N. Climate Talks in Paris (COP21).

It is rare that an animal gets the opportunity to speak up in their own voice on behalf of other animals, but Koko proves that this, in fact, possible. This sweet gorilla’s message is a profound one that serves to remind us all that humans are not the only creatures the planet. Seeing the damage humans have wrought on the planet we all share, it is far past time for us to take action to right these wrongs.

Share this video and inspire other to join Koko speaking out in defense of the planet, together, we can make a change!