Koko the gorilla has died at age 46. The great ape passed away in her sleep on June 19, The Gorilla Foundation announced. Koko's childlike curiosity and exceptional intelligence made her world-famous. Koko used sign-language to communicate, loved to be read to and to paint, and helped forever alter the way humans thought about the inner lives of animals.
Given her many talents, Koko became a celebrity in her own right and met plenty of famous people during her life. But perhaps one of her most endearing celebrity encounters was with Mister Rogers. Their interaction is captured in the new documentary Won't You Be My Neighbour. During their meeting, Koko told Mister Rogers "I love you," inquired about his cufflinks, and embraced the beloved TV icon. You can also watch clips of their heartwarming meeting above and here:
The Gorilla Foundation echoed the sentiments of millions around the world in its statement about Koko's death, saying, "She was beloved and will be deeply missed."