Monday, August 09, 2004

Dentists Recommend Regular Checkups

In Woodside, California, Koko, a 33 year old gorilla, used her knowledge of sign language to tell her keepers that she had a toothache. Koko has a vocabulary of over 1,000 signs, and understands even more spoken English, which is a pretty good indication of the intellect of the lowland gorilla. She even went online in an AOL chat room some time back. Unfair comparing her to typical AOL users.

Koko's apartment at the Gorilla Foundation, which looks like a remodeled box car, comes complete with a makeshift toilet, television, DVD player and lots of toys.

When Koko, shown here with her buddy Robin Williams, was asked how bad the pain was on a scale of one to ten, she rated it an eight. A team of doctors was brought in to give her a complete physical as long as she was going to be anesthetized anyway. While she was being introduced to the medical team before having her tooth extracted, she waved one of the women over to her. The woman handed Koko her business card, which Koko promptly ate. I knew all those cards had to be good for something.


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