“Michael, a gorilla who knew sign language, described his mother being shot as he watched.”

Via on Aug 11, 2011

Cry bad think trouble look face.

Join: Animals are People, too.

With thanks to Reddit, where there’s a helluva debate about the below:

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Michael grew up with Koko; they learned sign language together, they both painted beautifully, and they became like brother and sister. But Michael didn’t come to live with Koko until he was 3 1/2 years old. As an infant in Africa, he lost his parents at the hands of poachers, in the illegal bushmeat trade, and witnessed his own mother’s demise. In this clip, Michael responds to a question about his mother with this description of that event — a memory that he conveyed several times, before his own passing in 2000. Michael will be remembered by Koko and everyone at the Gorilla Foundation always — he was a true inspiration.

Lesson: Gorillas can not only use language to communicate their current wants and needs, they can also use it to relate memories. From Michael we learn directly about the tragedy of the bushmeat crisis, which he experienced firsthand as a baby.

Date Added: Mar 23, 2008
Videographer: Ron Cohn

Bonus: Humans (and squirrels and apes) aren’t the only ones who can parkour, either:

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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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2 Responses to ““Michael, a gorilla who knew sign language, described his mother being shot as he watched.””

  1. [...] Should we protect basic animal rights in the US and the world over? Waylon Lewis, founder of elephantjournal.com and host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Named #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green content by Shorty Awards, Changemaker and Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best Shameless Self-Promoter at the Westword Web Awards and Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter and best friend of Redford (a rescue hound). His aim is to bring the good news beyond the choir and to the masses. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal [...]

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