To learn about gorillas by communicating with them, and apply our knowledge to advance great ape conservation, education, care and empathy — conservation through communication ...

Project Koko — the longest running interspecies communication in history and the only one involving gorillas — has been the core program and strategy that has enabled the Gorilla Foundation to gain extraordinary leverage on the above mission.  See the About Us sections on History, Strategy and Programs for more insight on why this works, and the great potential that exists for future advances with the help of continued support form The Gorilla Foundation's generous supporters. 


We apply our core strength — interspecies communication research with gorillas —to achieve results in education, conservation and gorilla care, by utilizing interspecies empathy at every opportunity. The research naturally leads to educational materials, which in turn are used to affect conservation values and gorilla care practices, but it is the empathy that inspires action and has enabled Project Koko to span more than 4 decades.



The Gorilla Foundation's core values guide how we implement the above strategy, and how we interact with others on whom we rely to help us achieve the mission. Our most basic values may be summarized as follows:

1) Gorillas' Needs First:
Ensure that the physical, social, and emotional needs of the gorillas in our care are met.

2) Research-Based:
All of our programs, including Communication, Conservation, Education, and Care, are research-based, including naturalistic observation and experimental methods where possible.

3) Holistic Approach:
Always consider interspecies interactions in a holistic socio-cultural, mind-body context, employing integrative methods, and least-invasive remedies first.

4) Apply the Knowledge where Needed Most:
Prioritize interspecies communication research projects based upon the anticipated potential benefits for great ape conservation, education, and care and wellness.

5) Long-Term Commitment:
Recognize the value of research that extends over significant portions of the lifetime of the subjects, and respect the emotional bonds and obligations that develop during such long-term interspecies relationships.

6) Service to All Great Ape Species:
Our interests and concerns are not limited to gorillas, but include all of the great ape species: chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and humans, who have much in common, and much to offer and learn from one another.

7) Strive to Enlighten:
Some of the discoveries we have made about gorilla intelligence have the potential to change human awareness about our interconnectedness and interdependence wth other beings. We believe such attitudinal shifts are essential and can enable more rapid solutions to great ape conservation and captive care management problems.

Contact Us



The Gorilla Foundation / Koko.org
1733 Woodside Rd., Suite 330
Redwood City, CA, 94061
1-800-ME-GO-APE (634-6273)

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Our mission is to learn about gorillas by communicating with them, and apply our knowledge to advance great ape conservation, education, care and empathy.

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