TGF’s Email Requesting Donations for Ndume’s Move to Cincinnati Zoo is Shameful

I’ve taken a moment to highlight and question (in red) statements from Penny Patterson’s latest money-grab email to potential donors. This last attempt at exploiting Ndume is shameful, even by Gorilla Foundation standards.

The Email:

Dear Friend,

When Koko passed away in June of 2018, we received an outpouring of condolence messages, and sincerely thank you for that.  Koko’s long-time companion, Ndume, grieved her loss along with us and the rest of the world. He continues to show us that he misses her dearly to this day — as do we.

Now, Ndume must endure another life-altering situation — leaving his sanctuary home of the past 27 years at The Gorilla Foundation for a court-ordered transfer to the Cincinnati Zoo.

Please make a contribution today to

help Ndume through this difficult time

We and other experts on gorilla behavior and health do not believe that it is in the best interests of Ndume, now 37 (considered elderly for a gorilla), to return to a zoo. Who are these “other experts?” We did everything in our power to allow Ndume to stay at The Gorilla Foundation, but (based on an ownership agreement) we must now comply with the judge’s order to work cooperatively with the Zoo. Sad that a judge’s order is what it takes for TGF to “work cooperatively” to do what’s best for Ndume. We are pleased that the Court agreed that it is important for us to share our expertise (“expertise”? wth?) with the Zoo and work together to make his transfer as safe and stress-free as possible.

We urgently need your support to protect Ndume from

the potential hazards of moving him from sanctuary to zoo (What are these “potential hazards” that you “TGF” need funding for? How does that work when Cincinnati Zoo is managing the transfer?)

Transferring Ndume safely is going to require a great deal of dedicated effort because we are entering uncharted territory. Please leave it up to Cincinnati Zoo. Fortunately they do have experience in gorilla transports. Ndume would be the first gorilla ever to be transferred from a long-term (3-decade) sanctuary environment to a zoo.

 

Your donation will help Ndume deal with (really?????):

Being crate-trained and transported in it at his advanced age (pretty sure Cinci Zoo is managing this)
30 to 45 days of isolation in quarantine (without outdoor  access) (ummm you TGF have kept Ndume isolated from other gorillas for decades)
Adapting to public visitors (which had has not tolerated well) (you “TGF” will literally have nothing to do with this)
Interacting with new gorillas as an elderly introverted male (why on earth do you “TGF” need money for this?)
Being The stress of giving up everything he has known and loved for the past 27 years. (remind us again how a donation to TGF will help)

You can help us increase the probability of success — for him to both survive and thrive! (Ndume’s relocation/transport is on Cinci Zoo. Cash donations to you TGF will not help Ndume “survive”. And since he will be living back home at Cincinnati Zoo how will donating to TGF help him “thrive!”?)

Watch the Video and Get to Know Ndume

 

Ndume has lived with us at The Gorilla Foundation for most of his life. He came to us at the age of 10, following time spent in zoos where he did not fare well on public display (with a strong arm, good aim and a habit of throwing unmentionables!).

When he arrived at TGF, it seemed he had never walked on grass or seen the moon (“seemed”??? And btw, you’ve kept him in a trailer). Koko and everyone else fell in love with him, and in our care he settled down and thrived in our peaceful sanctuary surroundings with Koko as his companion.

With the prospect of this stressful, risky and unprecedented transition, we are very concerned about the outcome! The “outcome” is Cinci Zoo’s responsibility and expense. How is donating to TGF helping?

By supporting the Gorilla Foundation today, you will be helping us protect and support Ndume in every way we can, including traveling with him and staying with him in Cincinnati, to monitor his wellbeing throughout the process – which could take months to complete safely. Per the agreement: “Zoo and foundation staffers will accompany the animal and a foundation caregiver “is welcome to stay in Cincinnati for an additional two months after transfer and participate in Ndume’s acclimation,” court records state. “A second caregiver is also welcome on-site at [the zoo] during the first week following Ndume’s transfer.”

Your support will also help the Gorilla Foundation continue our core mission — including new conservation education technology, such as the new Koko App (in which Koko teaches us to sign) (Penny’s live-in partner and TGF’s “Executive Director” (or whatever his most recent title is) Gary Stanley been asking for funding while creating this app for years, but he just cannot seem to get it up. He is either unqualified, a grifter, or both. Creating an app is not rocket science. It happens every day) and an illustrated children’s book,  A Wish for Koko, which is both a tribute to Koko’s life and a path to the future of human-gorilla relations.

Koko and Ndume’s Continuing Legacy

 

With your support, we can help Ndume survive a transfer to the Cincinnati Zoo and make both an immediate and a lasting impact for all of the world’s gorillas.

With much love and appreciation,

 

          

Penny Patterson, Ph.D.

President, CEO and Director of Research & Care

The Gorilla Foundation / Koko.org

Trump’s Alternative Ten Commandments

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I was raised Catholic, well sort of. I recall the services (masses) were in Latin. Latin, can you imagine? We were a small Ohio town. Who knew Latin? Father Vasco, that’s who.

I also remember scary statues, smoke, holy water, and sit-stand-kneel, sit-stand-kneel. Oh, and confession. The build up to communion was the worst. For confession I’d make things up because I couldn’t remember my actual sins, nor did I want to, and felt obligated to spill the beans.

Mom was not welcomed to attend Mass, because she married my Father. He was married before which was a deal breaker in the Catholic faith. That’s how I remember it. It didn’t make sense then like it doesn’t make sense now. So instead of church being a family event, Mom would send me and my younger brother to pretend to practice our faith. On the way we’d stop in at Dad’s pool hall, into the smoke filled joint for a Slim Jim and Kit-Kat.

I was forced to attend Catechism. I know you meant well Mom, but Saturday morning Catechism was child abuse. Catechism class was offered on Saturday mornings while my non-Catholic friends stayed home in their pajamas watching cartoons. I hated every second of it.

I remember attending Catechism with a hangover. Yes, I managed to somehow find the only way to make the Catechismic experience worse.

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Anyway, Trump’s tweet today got me thinking. I know he’s not Catholic but I’m just throwing this out there for his Commandment following supporters.

Let’s review, shall we…………. with interpretations from Snopes since I’m a little rusty.

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Trump worships Trump, and in his mind, Trump is THE God. Enough said.

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“God damn it! I don’t love you leaving at all”, Trump says to Omarosa in a secretly recorded tape when Omarosa was fired.

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It’s been said on social media that Trump doesn’t own any churches, therefore he doesn’t regularly attend any church services.

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This seems to be true for Trump. In fact, in his Oval Office he proudly displays photos of his parents. And yes, Trump’s father was a known racist and KKK member. An apple doesn’t fall far from a Trump.

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Trump has not deliberately or directly killed anyone (that we know of).

screenshot 2019-01-28 at 17.42.06Oh boy, where to begin?

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Newsweek: HOW MANY TIMES HAS TRUMP CHEATED ON HIS WIVES? HERE’S WHAT WE KNOW

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“The Catholic Church believes that this commandment also denounces cheating people of their money or property, depriving workers of their just wage.”

“Embezzlement”

“Fraud”

“Tax Evasion”

USA TODAY exclusive: Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills

“At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.

Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. That includes 21 citations against the defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and three against the also out-of-business Trump Mortgage LLC in New York. Both cases were resolved by the companies agreeing to pay back wages.”

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“The Eighth Commandment condemns lying” Hahahahaahaha!

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Fact check: A year of unprecedented deception: Trump averaged 15 false claims a day in 2018

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This is an easy one!

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Trump will seize private property for his bullshit wall. “Government attempts to seize property are a particularly sensitive issue for residents who have owned their land for decades—a common case in the state of Texas.”

Trump is Trump. He will never change. Trump is a fake, a fraud, a Ten Commandment loser of epic proportions. No one has failed the Ten Commandment test like our president Donald J. Trump.

Trump has not killed anyone (that we know of) and that is the ONLY commandment bullet he’s dodged. Sad.

I’m calling on Trump supporting Catholics, Christians, and Evangelicals. We see you cheering and chanting at his rallies. What do you see in Trump that we don’t? Is it that he hasn’t yet killed anyone? Would that even be a deal breaker for you? What will it take?

 

 

Michael’s Nightmare With the Gorilla Foundation

Michael (1973-2000)

Michael (1973-2000)

Apparently Dr. Francine “Penny” Patterson and the Gorilla Foundation are bringing Michael, Koko’s former gorilla non-companion, back from the dead for yet another round of exploitation, this time in the form of an Ebook announced in a rather bizarre recent press release (of sorts) from “World Reader”. The Gorilla Foundation shared this announcement via social media, trying to ride the wake of their recent documentary publicity I suppose.

Conservation Through Storytelling

August 3, 2016 By

“Today Worldreader is proud to announce the addition of two books to our collection from the Gorilla Foundation: Koko’s Kitten and Michael’s Dream, true stories which together paint a terribly familiar portrait of sorrow in the aftermath of tragedy. In the first book we meet Koko, the Gorilla, who takes gentle care of a tiny kitten she names All Ball. When All Ball is hit by a car she is grief stricken. In the second we meet Michael who, when asked about his mother, uses American Sign Language to describe losing her to violence. Dr. Penny Patterson, who co-founded The Gorilla Foundation and who worked with Michael until his death at 27, thinks that Michael’s mother might have been the victim of poaching”.

There was no information provided in the press release on how one purchases the ebooks or when they may become available. Doing a search on the “World Reader” site nothing turns up for either ‘Koko’s Kitten’ or ‘Michaels Dream’. So perhaps the this was a premature release.

Patterson and her partner in primates, Ronald Cohn, may have a dream for Michael but how ‘Mike’ arrived on the scene was nothing short of a nightmare for him and an infant female gorilla named “B.B.”. Both were victims of an arrangement Patterson made with an “animal dealer” in Vienna, Austria to purchase two infant gorillas for a total of $28,000 usd. The female, listed as “B.B.” (for Bridgette Bardot) was intended to be Koko’s replacement at the San Francisco Zoo. Sadly B.B. died soon after their arrival from what would have been a long, stressful, and traumatic journey from Cameroon (see below). The male was called “King Kong” and renamed Michael.

While doing time at Koko’s camp Michael (according to Patterson) used ASL (American Sign Language) to share the details about how his family was killed by poachers during Michael’s capture thus beginning his nightmare into the gorilla trade. It’s quite remarkable that all these years later Michael would have an opportunity to tell his story to none other than Patterson, the person responsible for his departure from Cameroon. This is nothing short of a miraculous coincidence like no other. See video below from Kokoflix and further down you’ll see just how bizarre this story really is. You cannot make this stuff up.

Now if Michael’s story isn’t bad enough there’s a lot more than what he’s able to communicate in any video. Whether you believe Michael’s own story or not it’s likely he was in fact the victim of poaching. From the human side of this twisted tale there’s no doubting Patterson purchased Michael and “BB” from a “dealer” in Vienna for $28,000, I mean Patterson herself writes about it (see “Education of Koko” Patterson & Linden 1981).

Those are the facts but let’s put some of  the pieces together, shall we?

  1. In 1976 Patterson desperately needed a female infant replacement gorilla for the San Francisoc Zoo so she could keep Koko all to herself. The SF Zoo wasn’t going to simply turn over Koko, a moneymaking female without a fight (gorilla babies = big $$$$ for zoos) and apparently not without a replacement
  2. Through her connections Patterson had incredible luck finding not one but TWO infant gorillas from a shady dealer dude in Vienna, for a price. The female would go to the zoo and Patterson would have the male all to herself
  3. Patterson’s Gorilla Foundation is all about conserving the gorilla species right? So what could possibly be wrong with buying two infant gorillas from a dealer in Vienna “with a long history of trafficking infant gorillas”?
  4. While doing time at TGF Michael managed to miraculously share a remarkable story interpreted by none other than Dr. Francine “Penny” Patterson about how his family was murdered by poachers so that he could be sold and exported by a dealer in Vienna who just so happenened to have a customer in the U.S. waiting for an infant gorilla, or two
  5. Return to #1 and start over

Twisted right?

See below from the International Primate Protection League, September 1977. Seems the officials were not too thrilled on how all this went down, but once again Patterson got her way, as always.

 

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Click here for the full IPRL newsletter

And below we have the story in Patterson’s own words from “The Education of Koko” by Francine Patterson & Eugene Linden © 1981

The Education of Koko, Patterson/Linden

From the book- “Then in 1976 Barbet Schroeder, the film director, put us in touch with an animal dealer in Vienna who was offering an infant female and an infant male gorilla for $28,000. When an animal dealer offers wild-born infants for sale, on can usually assume that the infants were “harvested” through the gruesome expedient of shooting the mother. In this case the dealer told us that he obtained the two gorillas in Cameroon, and that they were orphaned after natives had eaten their parents. We were in no position to verify this story about the gorillas’ provenance, and, ultimately, we overcame our qualms and decided to buy the two. The idea was that we could then give the female to the zoo as a replacement for Koko and keep the male to be Koko’s eventual mate.

This left the simple matter of raising $28,000 to pay for the two infants. Together Ron and I had enough money to put down payment on one gorilla. We still had a shortfall of about $21,000. At this point the media proved invaluable. Since the beginning of the project, my work with Koko had attracted a considerable amount of media interest. I would like to think that this attention derived solely from the awesome import of being able to converse with another animal, but I have had to accept that part of it centers on the supposed drama of a woman working with a “ferocious beast.” In any event, during the The Education of Koko by Francine Patterson & Eugene Linden © 1981 All signed words (those made in American Sign Language) are indicated in italics. 46 period when we were trying to raise the money to buy the two baby gorillas, I would mention Koko’s precarious future to the reporters who requested interviews. The local press took up my problems as a cause.

The two baby gorillas arrived on September 9, 1976. Their names were listed as King Kong and B.B, (short for Brigitte Bardot). We took it as our fist obligation to rescue them from their unfortunate names. King Kong we renamed Michael, but we never got a chance to rename poor B.B. The rigors of her travels proved to be too much for her frail constitution, and in spite of our desperate efforts to nurse her back to health, she died of pneumonia within a month of her arrival.” Click here for ‘The Education of Koko’ in PDF

Sadly, in 2000 at the age of twenty seven Michael passed away suddenly of heart failure.

Directly and indirectly, Dr. Francine “Penny” Patterson and her Foundation perpetuated both Michael and B.B.’s nightmares and they should not be allowed to make a dime from Michael’s life. Of course there’s nothing stopping Patterson from doing exactly that. There’s no stopping her, there never has been.

“Gorilla Mountain, the Make Believe Home of Koko and Ndume”