Koko the beloved gorilla who became famous because she mastered an estimated 2,000 signs in what they refer to as "Gorilla Sign Language" basically it's modified American sign language. Koko was born on the 4th of July in 1971 at the San Francisco Zoo and was given the name Hanabi-ko meaning "fireworks child". Koko died in her sleep. The average life expectancy of a gorilla is 35-40 years.
In October of 1978 Koko made the cover of National Geographic "Conversations with A Gorilla". Koko wasn't the first animal to learn sign language and communicate, but she became the most famous.
Associated Press posted a graphic of the signs and meaning of Koko's sign language CLICK HERE