Friday, July 26, 2013

Caesar's false reality is one thing, Kanzi and Koko are another... aren't they?

Movie producers are engaging in a social
media campaign, hyping the idea of the
Simian Flu. How many people will fall for it?
This is getting exciting. Andy Serkis is reportedly in filming now for the 2014 movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, where he brilliantly uses performance capture technology to portray Caesar, the chimpanzee who leads the apes in their revolt against humanity. (It looks like the apes will be helped by the insidious Simian Flu, which is on track to decimate civilization.) A year ahead of time, they are hyping the already hyped-up audience that loved Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And love it, they did! I'm still getting blog traffic from people asking Google, “are the apes in Rise of the Planet of the Apes real?” (For the record, no they aren’t.)

Technology now allows us to present actors as apes. Social media pushes news of an emerging Simian Flu epidemic. Entertainment produces an alternative reality. Which begs the question… Where else is technology and social media giving us a “reality” that doesn’t exist? (Beside Anthony "Carlos Danger" Weiner, of course.)

I recently had this Facebook message exchange about Penny Patterson’s Gorilla Foundation and Sue Savage-Rumbaugh’s Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary:

Message from FB friend: “I'm observing total quiet from The Gorilla Foundation FB page. Nothing since her birthday. Woke up thinking about Ndume wondering what will happen with him if/when Koko kicks the bucket? Did you ever see Weekend at Bernies? It wouldn't surprise me if Penny keeps it a secret and pretends Koko is still alive, posting old pics and vids. Koko is her money train.”

Me: “Now that's an amazing thought... and just as valid for Savage-Rumbaugh and Kanzi. We wouldn't know if either of these obese animals [Kanzi or Koko] finally succumbed... Hmmm.”

FB friend: “Nope, the public would never ever know. They post old pics now, some are photo-shopped. They’ve got gazillons of media material, enough to last another lifetime.”

Surely, that’s too fantastic to even contemplate. Isn’t it?


  1. Well sussed! A cute, money spinning gorilla passes away and is promptly buried in a secret midnight ritual. The mad ‘scientists’ continue to profit from tampered photographs and past footage for years thereafter. Naturally, all care givers and fellow colleagues kept stum through fear of breaching their contract and were all quite relieved that exposing their breasts on a daily basis was a thing of the past. I wonder why Agatha Christie never came up with such a masterpiece.
    On a serious note, I’m very much certain (as I am sure you are), that anybody with any level of intelligence would not entertain such an idiotic idea. Besides, I am sure both Patterson and Savage-Rumbaugh have ‘earned’ enough pocket money to comfortably retire if they so wished.

    As for the fate of Savage’s ‘puppets’ and Ndume when they decide to do so, let’s hope we are all pleasantly surprised.

    1. Like you, I hope we are pleasantly surprised. But when one of the "scientists" says that her bonobos (and dogs) talk English, and the other still tantalizes Koko's fans with hopes of a baby gorilla, I can't really put anything past them.

    2. Are you kidding me? For many rich people, no matter financially secure they are, they want more.These individuals don't care that they exploit these apes, and the millions they take in could be going to legitimate ape sanctuaries that are helping to stop the trafficking that got the apes in trouble in the first place.If the apes are dead and they thought they could still make money from them, I'd be surprised if they didn't do it.They have chosen profit over the apes' welfare.Commerce in wildlife has to stop.

  2. Idiotic idea? Really? You wouldn't think an intellgient scientist would spend thousands upon thousands of donor dollars on a phone psychic for ALL primary medical and psychological diagnosis and treatment for the gorillas under her care now would you? You can't make this stuff up.

  3. I agree that it is far fetched, but saddly not outside the realm of what Patterson and company are capeable of and willing to do. I guess since they have a veterinarian willing to sign off on what the psychic and Patterson want it must be what is best for Koko and Ndume right?

  4. Agreed. Before I worked at the Foundation, I was under the impression that science played some part in the decisions that were made. I was so ignorant. Patterson controls EVERY ASPECT of what goes on. So sad that her twisted logic/interpretation is negatively impacting two amazing beings (three if you include Michael). I truely hope that she will be judged for whatshe has done once this " study" has been completed. Hopefully the end will not envolve the death of two more gorillas.

  5. Truely sad (but not suprising) that a government that a government agency (USDA) would allow Patterson and company to continue their sub-par care for these wonderful creatures. I call for everyone to contact them regarding the unsanitary conditions at this place. I searched the web and can't find a recent report since they stopped by to look at poor Ndume. From the record it should have already occurred. Sure they passed with flying colors as always. Sad, so sad.

    1. Last August I wrote to Dr. Gibbens at USDA, expressing my concerns, and an APHIS inspector was sent there within the month. If anyone has any information to share with APHIS, I suggest you send it to


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