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Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

AP Associated Press

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CALIFORNIA — Koko, the beloved gorilla who was able to communicate in more than 1,000 signs, has died at 46 in California’s Santa Cruz mountains on Tuesday.

The Gorilla Foundation said the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in her sleep at the foundation’s preserve.

Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo, and Dr Francine Patterson began teaching the gorilla sign language that became part of a Stanford University project in 1974.

Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific test subject and eventually learned more than 1,000 words, a vocabulary similar to that of a human toddler.

She became a celebrity who played with the likes of William Shatner, Sting, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Williams and Mr Rogers.

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At her home preserve, where she was treated like a queen, she ran around with Williams’ eyeglasses and unzipped Roger’s famous cardigan sweater.

The foundation said Koko’s capacity for language and empathy opened the minds and hearts of millions.

“Koko touched the lives of millions as an ambassador for all gorillas and an icon for interspecies communication,” the Gorilla Foundation said in a statement.

“She was beloved and will be deeply missed.”

Koko appeared in many documentaries and twice in National Geographic.

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7 killed after Delhi-Bound train derails in Bihar

Gorkha Post

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NEW DELHI — At least seven people have died and 14 others injured after a Delhi-bound train derailed early Sunday morning in Bihar’s Vaishali district.

Eleven coaches of 12487 Seemanchal Express derailed near Sahadai Buzurg at around 3:52 am. Three of the coaches overturned and the high force of the impact destroyed them completely.

The injured are being transported to local hospitals.

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The superfast train from Jogbani in Bihar to Delhi’s Anand Vihar Terminal was running at full speed when the accident took place, officials said.

Bodies are believed to be trapped inside one of the affected coaches and the number of dead is likely to rise, local police official said.

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