Koko the Gorilla issues a warning to humanity over the dangers of climate change

The video show Koko delivering a message to the COP21 climate change conference delegates

Doug Bolton
Thursday 07 January 2016 14:29 GMT
A screenshot from the video of Koko delivering her message to the COP21 delegates
A screenshot from the video of Koko delivering her message to the COP21 delegates (Noé)

Koko, the 44-year-old gorilla who is capable of communicating with humans via sign language, has appeared in a video urging humans to protect the environment.

The video, created by French environmental nonprofit Noé, carries a message for "nations attending the COP21 summit", the UN-led climate change conference which took place in Paris in December.

While Koko's communication skills are amazing, the message she conveys in the video isn't entirely her own - she was reportedly given a 'script' to read for the cameras, and the video has been edited to make her speech a little more fluid.

However, her 'words' are fairly profound. She begins by saying: "I am gorilla. I am flowers, animals. I am nature."

"Man Koko love. Earth Koko love. But man stupid."

"Koko sorry. Koko cry. Time hurry. Fix Earth! Help Earth! Hurry."

The Gorilla Foundation, which looks after Koko, explained the creation of the video: "Koko was clear about the man message: Man is harming the Earth and its many animal and plant species and needs to 'hurry' and fix the problem."

Koko's detractor's claim she is incapable of actually understanding her signs, but some studies have suggests she could know what she's saying - by showing her pointing out certain objects, or creating new compound words out of signs she already knows.

At any rate, Koko's species, the western lowland gorilla, are currently classified as 'critically endangered', due to the problems of poaching and habitat destruction they encounter in the wild.

Delegates to COP21 finished the conference by creating the Paris Agreement, which commits the signatories to limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees and pursuing policies that create a pathway towards lower emissions and climate-friendly development - so there may be hope for Koko yet.

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