What, did you think humans were the only great ape capable of artistic expression? The visceral and imaginative paintings of Koko and Michael will make you think again. Koko is a 41-year-old lowland gorilla who learned to sign when she was just a baby, and has since learned to express herself in a variety of other ways (she even loves kittens as much as humans do, as chronicled in the book Koko's Kitten).
Koko also shared a long friendship with her fellow gorilla Michael, who was able to learn about 600 signs before his sad passing in 2000. He even became capable of conveying his early memories to his human companions through sign language, including the painful experience of losing his mother to poachers. If this doesn't convince you that gorillas and humans are a lot more alike than they may seem, perhaps the gorgeous artwork produced by the pair will. Also, please check out The Gorilla Foundation website: click here for more information on how to help these magnificent creatures, or here to buy some of their museum-quality reproductions. The Gorilla Foundation is a non-profit with a great success record of research, education, and conservation of gorillas and their habitat. Up your karma quota by helping them continue to make the world a safer place for all great apes.
And now for the slideshow!