Loss is a way of life. We understand that. Especially when it comes to pets. We gird ourselves as they get older. But when the loss is sudden, it takes on an even more tragic feel. We can process it though. What if the one who loses the pet is not a person, but another animal? We got to see that up close in this video about Koko the gorilla, who lost her pet kitten.
For those who don’t know, Koko is a gorilla who has learned how to communicate in sign language. She’s in her 40’s, having been born in 1971. She had adopted a kitten as a pet – she dubbed him All Ball because he looked like a ball to her. They were inseparable. Then one day, All Ball was hit by a car while walking outside. A caretaker had to break the bad news. Koko did not take it well. She signed that she felt bad, wanted to cry. Later on, by herself, she did just that, wailing in her room.
Since then, Koko has adopted two more cats, showing that she could move on past All Ball. But her behavior then showed that she understood death and the fact that All Ball was not coming back. On some instinctive level, nearly all animals understand the permanent loss that death brings – we hear about dogs and cats grieving dead owners, after all. Koko just took that to a new level.
Who I really felt bad for was the caretaker who had to explain to Koko what happened. She didn’t know what was going to happen. For all her intelligent behavior with the learning of sign language, Koko is still an animal. She might have reacted unpredictably. That’s why the caretaker had so much courage to go into that room and tell Koko face-to-face. People respond differently when they learn of things like this. They lash out. Imagine if this gorilla, who is infinitely stronger than any human, had reacted in anger? It could have been a disaster. Fortunately, it all worked out.
I felt so bad for Koko. How about you? What are your thoughts? Let us know below!
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