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Friday, November 9, 2007

Signs: Good-bye

Washoe passed away October 30, 2007

She was 42 years old, on borrowed time as far as chimpanzees go. She lived out her final days in The Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute at Central Washington University.

Washoe was the first non-human to learn human sign language. She had a confirmed vocabulary of 250 signs. Washoe had to understand and use each word in the right context before it could be added to her list .



Washoe had an adopted son Loulis. She was able to teach him to sign also. Louis is the first chimp to learn to sign by other chimps, rather than by humans.



To read more about Washoe and other signing chimps, look here:
http://www.friendsofwashoe.org/


13 comments:

lis said...

Such a long and seemingly good life for Washoe, thank you for sharing.
Way to go Patrick, the wonder and power of the web!!!

Mary Alice said...

I remember reading about Washoe years ago. I was facinated with the concept of human -animal communication, you know beyond the tail wagging and pleading eyes of a hungry Golden and Corgi-- who are about to stare a hole right through me! "Where's our breakfast" clear as day.

Casdok said...

Thats intersting about the signing. Thank you.

Sherry said...

Always so sad when a story that captured us for the "possibilities" ends...but if the son learned to sign there is still a "future".

As for Patrick and his dream girl..was it really for "real" or was this some publicity thing??

Jen M. said...

I'm sad for Washo...but ECSTATIC for Patrick! How great! They are adorable!

Nancy said...

Sherry: Yes, it was real ... he has e-mailed me and also they were both on Good Morning America this morning =)

Joan said...

Good for Patrick. I was pulling for him. Washoe ... rest in peace.

Carrie said...

Washoe & Patrick, both very sweet stories in two completely different ways!

Audubon Ron said...

ARCI – NovBlow&Go

You write it, I read it!

My wife met Washoe. In fact, she and her best friend from high school meet recently in Chicago and did the Washoe bump hands and sign “Dirty, Dirty, Dirty.” Odd high school ritual.

Nancy said...

That's cool Ron ... did she take any photos of her?

Jenn said...

What a rollercoaster of emotions in your post.

I saw the story of Washoe on a news program and cried for days...it was the son that got me.

And Patrick, oh, to find a Patrick.
Rather, have a Patrick find me, I suppose.

Linda and her Surroundings said...

This story was a feature in my Saturday newspaper today!

Dfunkadelic said...

i CANNOT believe that the girl patrick was looking for was DREW BERRYMORE'S MOM! in swedish head braids none-the-less.