One of our most noteworthy learned and techno-savvy residents of our community is going to leave us. This resident celebrity is making a long planned move in the near future and will be retiring to a more tropical climate. Koko, (short for Hanabi-Ko – Japanese for fireworks child), the communicating gorilla, has resided in Woodside for 26 years. Amazing – a gorilla who is a COW. We will miss “talking’ to her when the Gorilla Foundation completes its planned move to Hawaii.
You might ask ‘why is she moo-ving?’ Is it the prospect of new and exciting adventures in paradise? Is it the possibility of new mates? Is it that she is tired of the bureaucracy in Woodside? Is it that she is sad that she started online videocasts and Woodside has not followed suit to offer Town Hall meeting videocasts? Or did she fear after talking with neighbors and friends in the area that undertaking the construction of a new habitat in Woodside would have required too much wading through yellow tape and dealing with county and perhaps town planners?
Actually, there are a variety of reasons Koko will be moving to her new sanctuary, such as a climate more appropriate for gorillas and a more natural environment; however, a large reason for her move is to help facilitate education about the sadness and seriousness of poaching. Besides providing a healthy environment for Koko, the facility will also house a visitors center that will provide interactive educational kiosks, video interaction with the gorillas, and a model for ape conservation around the globe.
As with anything worthwhile, it will take money to finish this great project. If you are interested in aiding and supporting the move of Koko and the development of her new habitat, you can contact The Gorilla Foundation by visiting www.koko.org.