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Reply to "Brainy Animals"

Thank you for the post.
Many animals are very intelligent.

I will bring back your post about Koko and the dental appointment to prove the point:

This article was published in:
"Ontario Dentist" October 2004

When Koko the gorilla used American Sign Language to tell her teacher Penny Patterson that her mouth was in pain, 12 specialists, including three dentists, sprang into action.

When Koko began explaining her discomfort, pointing to a molar on her upper left, Dr. Patterson devised a pain chart offering Koko a scale from 1 to 10. When Koko indicated that an operation was needed as opposed to more medicine, a dental appointment was made.

"She would clearly communicate her pain level using her pain chart," explained research assistant/gorilla caregiver Tierra Wilson. "We were all eager to help."

"It's not often that we get to work on a celebrity," Dr. David Liang, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford, said. "Probably Koko is less demanding."

The only significant findings were periodontally related and were successfully treated by Dr.Bob Turner, DDS, Dr.Joe A. Provines ,DMD and Dr.Merhan Fotovatjah, DDS.

Koko insisted on meeting her specialists before she went under anesthesia. They crowded around her, and Koko asked one woman wearing orange to come closer. The woman handed her a business card, which Koko later politely returned. Koko was excited and eager for her tooth to be fixed.

Koko is now resting after her operation. "She is doing exceptionally well, purring occasionally and generally wondering what all the fuss is about," said Tierra Wilson.

Adapted fromThe Gorilla Foundation /

Koko knows human sign language; she knows 1000 signs.

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