"We shared something extraordinary - laughter," said Williams about the interaction.
If you don't know Robin Williams, you have probably lived under a rock, and if you know him, then you are sure to love him. On August 11, 2014, Williams bid farewell to the world. While he was alive, he touched the lives of many, including Koko, the gorilla. Koko is the same ape that could converse and explain what she was feeling through sign language. Koko gained immense popularity in the United States when people began to realize that she could communicate with her handler via American Sign language. In 2001, Williams was invited to meet her at a time she was going through a tough time of her own, bereaving the death of her friend, reports Today.
Koko, the gorilla who learned sign language and befriended Robin Williams, died in her sleep at age 46. pic.twitter.com/4vdiSkbab5— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 21, 2018
The video, posted on the channel called kokoflix, shows Williams and Koko hit it off from the minute they first met. The clip begins with the actor narrating the interaction he's had with the animal. "I recently had a mind-altering experience communicating with a gorilla. Her name is Koko." Koko was in a terrible state because she'd lost her childhood playmate Michael the gorilla. He'd passed away six months before she met Williams. According to her caretaker, she reportedly hadn't been feeling particularly well, until the meeting with Williams. In the video, Williams can be seen waiting on a chair waiting for Koko to arrive.
Koko's tenderness and aptitude for sign language touched the lives of millions. She met Robin Williams in 2001 and built an instant rapport with him, and was reportedly crestfallen when he died. https://t.co/et3R92VWUx— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 21, 2018
When she enters the room, she immediately goes to Williams' side and sits comfortably next to him on the floor and grabs his hand. Williams, being the humble person that he is, abandons his chair and sits on the floor alongside Koko. What surprised everyone was that Koko asked Williams to tickle her, first on her tummy, then on her thighs, and the two continue to share laughter tickling each other. Francine Patterson, Koko's caregiver, and the person who taught her sign language said the gorilla hadn't smiled in over six months. "Notice that Robin made Koko smile — something she hadn’t done for over six months, ever since her childhood gorilla companion, Michael, passed away at the age of 27," Patterson said.
robin williams and koko, the gorilla is the cutest thing you'll see today i don't make the rules pic.twitter.com/CISDGd2KRg— bella (@hiredtary) June 22, 2020
The two seemed just so comfortable with each other as Koko went on to take Williams' glasses and tried it on herself. She then looks into a mirror to see if it looks as good on her as it does on Williams. She then playfully pick through his pockets and checks the contents of his wallet before asking for a drink. “Robin’s ability to just ‘hang out’ with Koko, a gorilla, and in minutes become one of her closest friends, was extraordinary and unforgettable,” Patterson wrote. “But not only did Robin cheer up Koko, the effect was mutual, and Robin seemed transformed.” In the video, Williams said: "We shared something extraordinary - laughter."
Robin Williams and Koko the Gorilla met at The Gorilla Foundation in 2001. Staff said Williams made Koko smile for the first time in six months, following the death of her gorilla companion.— UberFacts (@UberFacts) June 9, 2020
In 2014, when Koko was given the news of Robin's death, she signed the word "cry."
"Koko understands spoken English and uses over 1,000 signs to share her feelings and thoughts about daily events, life, love, even death." When Koko was told about Williams' death in 2014, she reportedly made the "cry" sign indicating that she was sad. According to Patterson, Koko could understand over 2,000 words of spoken English and her intelligence was the same as a three-year-old human child. "Through mastery of sign language—the familiar hand speech of the deaf—Koko has made us, her human companions, aware not only that her breed is bright, but also that it shares sensitivities commonly held to be the prerogative of people," Patterson said. Koko died on June 19, 2018, in Woodside, California after 47 years.