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Home » Gorilla Facts » If we trained gorillas to talk, would we be successful?

If we trained gorillas to talk, would we be successful?

We have seen wild apes talking in movies like the franchise movie Planet of the Apes but this is mere fiction. At least as for now, gorillas only speak a language they themselves comprehend, but perhaps if we tried to teach them a less vocalized language like sign language, they might be smart enough to grasp it.

One scientist has tried teaching a low land gorilla in captive but her results continue to be questioned.  Dr. Francine Penny Patterson (an American researcher) is believed to have taught American Sign Language to a female lowland gorilla called Koko. Koko was born in the San Francisco zoo in 1971 and by the time she made the age of ten (10) Ms. Patterson believes that had used over 1,000 signs at least once in her lifetime and had, mastered 500 of these. But she is often questioned her work is often questioned because it is not straight forward. It is hard to understand what Koko says unless Ms. Patterson comes in to translate. We could say that Dr. Francine was able to dig deeper into the life of Koko to teach it a whole new language; which for now we can call ‘Gorilla Sign Language”.