It’s been a few days since I let the kitten out of the Gorilla Foundation bag and so far not a peep from the Patterson camp. Perhaps they’re incredibly busy researching things or meeting with their lawyer ‘advisor’. Or they may be just too darn busy with that move to Maui.
Click here for “The Straight Dope” on the Koko and Penny Show!
Since posting the “Gorilla Mountain” blog there’s been a significant jump in visitors and I want to thank you for the your interest and encouraging comments. The decision to out Koko.org was not easy and I’ve been up to my nipples with worry.
I’ve worried that going public could effect the bottom line, the private donations needed to cover Koko and Ndume’s day to day living expenses. The gorillas shouldn’t suffer, they’re victims in the madness. Ideally only Patterson and Cohn should receive pay cuts when the gorilla shit hits the fan, but unfortunately Penny and Ron control the purse strings. The thought of going public has been nagging at me since I said my final goodbyes to Koko and Ndume. I think about them every day, and truly only want what’s best for them.
“Adam’s” 2009 Review of ‘Koko’s Kitten’ by Dr. Francine “Penny” Patterson
I will say that immediately after posting the blog I breathed a sigh relief, feeling as if a huge gorilla size turd was lifted from my shoulders. I’ve always felt guilty for abandoning the gorillas and am discovering that sharing a few nuggets of my experiences on Gorilla Mountain has been therapeutic.
I believe shining a spotlight on the Foundation is the right thing to do for Koko and Ndume. Penny and Ron are accountable. Koko fans should open their eyes and close their wallets, or at the very least question the Board of Directors who are also accountable and responsible to donors.
Click here for The Gorilla Foundation’s ‘Charity Navigator Rating’
The Gorilla Foundation has been asking for donations and creaking along for decades but they literally have nothing to show for their conservation claims and research’efforts’. For the rest of their time with Penny and Ron the gorillas will continue to be dependent on public donations to provide them with the basics. They deserve more, a future with proper gorilla diet and nutrition, real gorilla enrichment, trained primate veterinary medical care, and improved living quarters. For this to take place there should be a required third party involved overseeing the operation requiring the Gorilla Foundation to be accountable, compliant, and 100% transparent in everything they do, as is the case for all non-profit agencies.
Koko is Koko, and will always be Koko. She’s had a life with Penny and Ron which is all she knows. Ndume deserves better, he never asked to play a part in this pretend ‘lets make a family and move to Hawaii’ scheme. Ndume never had a choice or a voice.
Thanks for reading, and please comment below.
Added July 15, 2014~ This essay from 2011 is spot on! “Koko, The “Talking Gorilla” by Tao Lin
Great Video John. Keep up the great work!
Thanks Shawn. Yes, the guy’s on a roll lol!
I really have to say I find Sapolsky overly flippant and pretty loose with the facts. If he continually calls Koko “he” and then Kanzi “she” he doesn’t know either ape very well. Perhaps this was filmed before the entire Kanzi/GAT operation had its own major breakdown. Certainly there is not a much better record of valid research there. And recently, important research has emerged from the GF. The brief stay of Dr. Marcus Perlman promised to turn things through doing research only from video and in collaboration with other serious researchers, and several important papers have already been published.
Hi Joanne, not 100% sure but I think the Sapolsky video is 2010, that would be prior to Dr. Perlman going public with his research. I worked with M Perlman while at the Gorilla Foundation and have great admiration and respect for him. As for the he/she thing, I was amused.
Note: The Sapolsky video referenced in the above comments has since been removed from Youtube and unavailable. The dead link was removed from the above blog.
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Please click link for petition to encourage Cincinnati Zoo to take responsibility for Ndume’s well being. Ndume deserves better than a solitary life as Koko’s non-companion. Please sign and share. https://www.change.org/petitions/cincinnati-zoo-bring-gorilla-ndume-home
This piece is from 1997, check out the Hawaii plans and numbers. http://www.rolexawards.com/profiles/laureates/francine_patterson/project