Given by a gorilla in sign language, it is among the more unusual messages for the New Year.
Koko was filmed delivering a 38-word bulletin about how ‘stupid’ mankind is harming the Earth.
In the 60-second video, the 44-year-old great ape, which has been learning sign language since she was one, said: ‘I am gorilla, I am flowers, animals. I am Nature. Koko love man. Earth Koko love.
‘But man stupid… stupid! Koko sorry, Koko cry. Time hurry. Fix Earth! Help Earth! Hurry! Protect Earth. Nature watches you. Thank you.’
The message was scripted by NOE Conservation, based in France, whose main focus is preserving biodiversity, and The Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California, where Koko has lived since 1979, immersed in human company.
She is said to be able to understand 1,000 words of US sign language and 2,000 words of spoken English, but there has been controversy about whether her own use of signs is simple, reward-related mimicry or something more meaningful.
The video was made to help get NOE Conservation’s message across for the recent UN Climate Conference in Paris.
A spokesman for The Gorilla Foundation: ‘Because of her unique ability to communicate with humans in sign language, Koko is a natural ambassador for endangered species.
‘We presented her with a script drafted by NOE and allowed her to improvise during a series of brief daily video discussion sessions. The result was edited from a number of separate takes, for brevity and continuity.’ The spokesman said Koko had to learn ‘a few new signs’ for the video including ‘protect’ and ‘nature’.
It would be very interesting to find out what Koko would have “said” had Isis militants been the ones working with her and teaching her sign language. Such propaganda. Yes, obviously very contrived. Actually, I find it unsettling and shameful. Let the poor gorilla be a gorilla.