[ExI] Koko dead at 46

Robert G Kennedy III, PE robot at ultimax.com
Mon Jun 25 22:08:18 UTC 2018

Well, I (we) did meet one, albeit highland not lowland.  I know I'll 
never forget the encounter as long as I live.  Still wearing the same 
shoes, in fact.  These shoes have seen a lot.

www.ultimax.com/pic/gorillatrackingteam.png .

I'm behind the camera, that's my wife in front of it.  There is a good 
reason our companions (excellent guides, too) are carrying all that 
heat--we were 30 or so klicks from the Congo border.

Did you know that gorillas purr, like huge housecats?  With a bit of 
horse nickering blended in.  Practically infrasonic, but clearly audible 
from meters away.  No doubt adaptive, to keep the kids informed where 
mama is in dense mountain jungle with limited visibility.


She is about a meter away from me, having a nosh (second breakfast), 
completely unperturbed.
OTOH, the big fella (I haven't put that pic up yet) barked like a *very* 
big dog, and charged a couple meters a few times, just to make a point.

I don't get to write about SETI as often as I would like (only one 
published item in JBIS 2 years ago), but as for the skeptics about 
Koko's communication ability...

some quoted here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koko_(gorilla)

...I think it is wise to be humble about what we believe cannot be, 
based on what we think we know.  You'd think after Copernicus, or 
Clarke's Second Law, we'd have more humility already about nonhuman 
intelligence.  We're so parochial.

Thanks for the heads-up, Stuart, and sorry for y|our loss.

On Sun, 24 Jun 2018 21:13:47 -0700, "Stuart LaForge" 
<avant at sollegro.com>, wrote:
> Having found out about this just after reading Anders and Drexler's new
> article about the Fermi Paradox, I experienced an intense feeling of
> existential loneliness and grief difficult to describe and quite
> unexpected given that she was a gorilla and moreover one I had never 
> met.


Robert G Kennedy III, PE
1994 AAAS/ASME Congressional Fellow
U.S. House Subcommittee on Space

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