Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
All Ball was the pet cat of Koko, the famous gorilla living in Woodside, California, who uses and understands American sign language. In 1984, before her 12th birthday, Koko asked her trainer, Dr. Francine 'Penny' Patterson for a cat. Koko selected a gray male Manx from a litter of abandoned kittens and named it All Ball. This breed is unusual in that it has no tail, and researchers wondered whether that fact influenced Koko's choice. Koko cared for the kitten as if he were a baby gorilla. In December of that same year, All Ball escaped from Koko's cage and was run over and killed by a car.
Later, upon learning that All Ball had gone, Koko communicated with her trainers using the sign language symbols for "cry" and "sad". Researchers noted this fact in the debate over whether animals have human-like emotions.
In 1985, Koko chose two other kittens called 'Lipstick' and 'Smokey', both of whom were also tailless Manx.
- Patterson, Dr. Francine (1987). Koko's Kitten. Scholastic, Inc. ISBN 0-590-44425-5
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