|Young Gorilla (Photo by Justin Norton)|
Robin Williams was so universally loved that his death was mourned by more than one species.
When Koko (the female gorilla that “understands spoken English and uses over 1,000 signs to share her feelings and thoughts about daily events, life, love, even death”) overheard her human trainer discussing Williams’ death, she began to show obvious signs of mourning.
In 2001, Williams had been invited by the Gorilla Foundation in California to meet with Koko. Laura T. Coffey of TODAY reports that when this occurred, “Williams and Koko laughed, tickled each other and hugged like old friends.” Williams described this encounter with Koko as “mind-altering.”
Koko's enthusiasm for Williams was especially heartening in that Koko hadn’t smiled for six months before then, due to the death of her “childhood gorilla companion, Michael.” Koko not only smiled while meeting with Williams, but also tried on his glasses, kissed his hand, and “pulled him in for a big hug.”
After hearing of his death, Koko's head was bowed, and her lip was quivering. Her eyes became filled with sadness.
She, too, was missing the light that was Robin Williams.
Copyright August 28, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved