Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Using Koko to exploit the death of Robin Williams

The Gorilla Foundation says this is Koko lamenting
the death of Robin Williams. Former caregivers point
out that this is her everyday funk.
I see that Penny Patterson is now exploiting Robin Williams’ death to promote her Gorilla Foundation. It’s one thing to recirculate a video taken more than a decade ago, when Robin met Koko, if the point is to pay tribute to a good man. It is quite another thing, however, to take pictures of Koko in her everyday funk and tell gullible media – who are searching for ANY new angle on the Williams story – that Koko is so terribly sad about the death of a human she met more than ten years ago. Naturally, ape lovers who don’t know better will give $$ to Koko in honor of Robin. And that’s the whole point of this disgusting exploitation, isn’t it Penny?

This week marks a new low for The Gorilla Foundation.

(BTW, if this use of Robin Williams is tempting you to contribute, you might want to review The Gorilla Foundation's rating on Charity Navigator. It has a low rating, only 2 stars. There are better ways to support gorilla conservation and welfare.)


  1. This is an all time low for TGF. As a former Koko and Ndume gorilla caregiver at TGF I am both angry and disgusted. TGF is unable to do anything on their own and use this tragedy for another 15 minutes of fame. Shameful.

  2. I was really impressed with TGF actually posting something within 24 hours of it happening - they NEVER post anything in a timely manner. Oh wait..I guess if they had waited till his death wasn't garnering such attention, they wouldn't have gotten as much money in donations. Ah, I THAT's why they posted in such a timely manner. :-(

  3. Never really liked the whole story of Koko.

  4. Now why didn't they think to videotape (for science) Penny dropping the news on Koko, like when she received the news about All Ball? That would have made more sense than posting these two pics of Koko looking sad and droopy, same as she looks every other day. Or perhaps they did and Koko's reaction wasn't what they had hoped for.

  5. Since they record video 24/7 they must have the video, but there are several reasons why we will probably never see it. As mentioned above, this is how Koko looks most of the day (and night). She is sad, depressed and not interested in engaging. Unfortunately this is not what the public or high profile visitors see. They only see the high brought on by food, special visitors or parties which are far from the norm. Showing a video where there was no change before or after would not serve their purpose.

    The Foundation also relies heavily on older footage rather than show new images that reflect Koko’s current condition. Not only does she display signs of severe depression, her physical health is not good either. She has difficulty moving around (other than using the toilet), rarely goes outside and has diarrhea more often than normal stool.

    Sad, very sad.

  6. Nothing new, but hopefully this will make more people aware of what is going on at The Gorilla Foundation:

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