Koko – The Gorilla Who Talks | Wednesday, March 6 at 8 pm

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To Have Encore Broadcast on March 6, 2019 on WOUB

– The Story of the Remarkable Gorilla Who Captured Hearts Around the World –

KOKO − THE GORILLA WHO TALKS takes viewers back to 1971, when Project Koko started as Penny Patterson’s Ph.D. assignment to teach sign language to a baby gorilla. As Koko began to communicate with Penny, an intense bond formed between them and the teacher transformed into both mother figure and companion for more than four decades, while the public’s fascination with Koko made her a star. KOKO – THE GORILLA WHO TALKS will have an encore broadcast as part of special programming premiering on PBS stations in March 2019.

Koko’s life was filmed every step of the way. More than 2,000 hours of footage exist, capturing the dramatic moments, many of which appear in this film, including Penny’s battle to keep Koko from being reclaimed by the zoo where she was born, Penny’s clash with academic critics who doubted the validity of her claims, the establishment of The Gorilla Foundation, and the image of Koko mourning the death of her kitten — a moment that brought her international fame.

In June of 2018, Koko died in her sleep, but this film stands as a remarkable look at her amazing abilities and relationships.

PBS special programming invites viewers to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. Viewer contributions are an important source of funding, making PBS programs possible. PBS and public television stations offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.